Word of the Day

Thursday, January 09, 2003


\OB-vee-ayt\ , transitive verb;
To prevent by interception; to anticipate and dispose of or make unnecessary.
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
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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