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obtuse

[uh b-toos, -tyoos] /əbˈtus, -ˈtyus/
adjective
1.
not quick or alert in perception, feeling, or intellect; not sensitive or observant; dull.
2.
not sharp, acute, or pointed; blunt in form.
3.
(of a leaf, petal, etc.) rounded at the extremity.
4.
indistinctly felt or perceived, as pain or sound.
Origin
1500-1510
1500-10; < Latin obtūsus dulled (past participle of obtundere), equivalent to ob- ob- + tūd-, variant stem of tundere to beat + -tus past participle suffix, with dt > s
Related forms
obtusely, adverb
obtuseness, noun
subobtuse, adjective
subobtusely, adverb
subobtuseness, noun
Can be confused
abstruse, obtuse.
Synonyms
1. unfeeling, tactless, insensitive; blind, imperceptive, unobservant; gauche, boorish; slow, dim.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for obtuseness
  • The human inability to detect these chemical distress calls indicate nothing but our own obtuseness.
  • We should never underestimate the obtuseness of those who would politicize science.
  • Instead, a kind of emotional obtuseness that leads to all sorts of offputting behaviors.
  • From anger and the stress that weighed on me during that time, and from the obtuseness of the uninvited.
  • Mendelsohn's obtuseness at times suggests that he is in the grip of a predisposition struggling against disabuse.
  • But that obtuseness seems--finally and mercifully--to be changing.
  • And it also happens to be funny, which goes a long way toward making up for any underlying obtuseness or insensitivity.
British Dictionary definitions for obtuseness

obtuse

/əbˈtjuːs/
adjective
1.
mentally slow or emotionally insensitive
2.
(maths)
  1. (of an angle) lying between 90° and 180°
  2. (of a triangle) having one interior angle greater than 90°
3.
not sharp or pointed
4.
indistinctly felt, heard, etc; dull obtuse pain
5.
(of a leaf or similar flat part) having a rounded or blunt tip
Derived Forms
obtusely, adverb
obtuseness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin obtūsus dulled, past participle of obtundere to beat down; see obtund
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 obtuseness
obtuse
c.1500, from M.Fr. obtus (fem. obtuse), from L. obtusus "blunted, dull," pp. of obtundere "to beat against, make dull," from ob "against" + tundere "to beat," from PIE *(s)tud- "to beat, strike, push, thrust" (cf. L. tudes "hammer," Skt. tudati "he thrusts"). Sense of "stupid" is first found c.1500.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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obtuseness in Medicine

obtuse ob·tuse (ŏb-tōōs', -tyōōs', əb-)
adj.

  1. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect.

  2. Not sharp or acute; blunt.


ob·tuse'ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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