9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uh-bliv-ee-uh s] /əˈblɪv i əs/
unmindful; unconscious; unaware (usually followed by of or to):
She was oblivious of his admiration.
forgetful; without remembrance or memory:
oblivious of my former failure.
Archaic. inducing forgetfulness.
Origin of oblivious
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin oblīviōsus forgetful, equivalent to oblīvī(scī) to for-get + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
obliviously, adverb
obliviousness, noun
self-oblivious, adjective
semioblivious, adjective
semiobliviously, adverb
semiobliviousness, noun
unoblivious, adjective
unobliviously, adverb
unobliviousness, noun
Can be confused
oblivious, obvious.
2. See absent-minded. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for oblivious
  • They sat there cricket and spider, each oblivious to the other.
  • To dismiss how these cycles continuously repeat themselves is to be oblivious to cyclic patterns.
  • What is surprising to me is how oblivious people are to the speed and magnitude of this progress.
  • My concern and you for some reason seem oblivious to it is that cultures come and go.
  • People surge into the shallows, oblivious of the shark danger.
  • These huge plant-eaters are oblivious to the consequences-for good or ill-of their dining habits.
  • When unanticipated events occur, the system is oblivious.
  • GM seemed oblivious to the lessons emerging from the electronics industry.
  • Its oblivious self-interest violates the unity of purpose that defines your system as yours.
  • The vast majority of organizations, that could tap into the financial pipeline, are oblivious to how to do so.
British Dictionary definitions for oblivious


foll by to or of. unaware or forgetful
Derived Forms
obliviously, adverb
obliviousness, noun
Usage note
It was formerly considered incorrect to use oblivious to mean unaware, but this use is now acceptable
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for oblivious

mid-15c., from Latin obliviosus "forgetful, that easily forgets; producing forgetfulness," from oblivion (see oblivion). Meaning "unaware, unconscious (of something)" is from 1862, formerly regarded as erroneous, this is now the general meaning and the word has lost its original sense of "no longer aware or mindful." Properly should be used with to, not of. Related: Obliviously; obliviousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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