Word of the Day

Thursday, January 09, 2003

obviate

\OB-vee-ayt\ , transitive verb;
1.
To prevent by interception; to anticipate and dispose of or make unnecessary.
Quotes:
After lunch he packed and stepped into the shower: Ronald Rosenthal spent a good portion of his life in planes and he knew that hot water immediately before and after a flight obviated most of its bad effects.
-- Neil Gordon, The Gun Runner's Daughter
It is reasonable to assume that Martin acquired the most basic skills of the rural gentleman: horse-riding, elementary sword-play and the minor degree of literacy that compulsory attendance at divine service encouraged were all requirements that preceded -- even obviated -- the need for a more formal education.
-- James McDermott, Martin Frobisher: Elizabethan Privateer
On the positive side, a flood of cheap imports could help hold down inflation and obviate the need for higher interest rates.
-- Richard W. Stevenson and David E. Sanger, "Asian CrisisCould Wreak Havoc on Balance of Trade", New York Times, December 20, 1997
Origin:
Obviate derives from Latin obviare, "to meet or encounter," from ob viam, "placed or coming in the way" (ob, "in front of"; via, "way").
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