Long Definition:

ob·vi·ate      [ob-vee-eyt] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation

–verb (used with object), -at·ed, -at·ing.

to anticipate and prevent or eliminate (difficulties, disadvantages, etc.) by effective measures; render unnecessary: to obviate the risk of serious injury.

[Origin: 1590–1600; < L obvi?tus, ptp. of obvi?re to act contrary to, deriv. of obvius; see obvious, -ate1]

ob·vi·a·ble      [ob-vee-uh-buhl] Pronunciation KeyShow IPA Pronunciation, adjective
ob·vi·a·tion, noun
ob·vi·a·tor, noun

preclude, avert, anticipate.

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Short Definition: Make unnecessary


  • Bringing along Benson, with his long legs, obviated the need for a step ladder.
  • Studying a little each day obviated the need for an all-night cram session the night before the exam.
  • Using spell check on the computer doesn't obviate the need for effective proof reading.

Opera > V > ate > make unnecessary: I went to the opera last night but the opera singers kept coming down off the stage and showing me the "V" for victory symbol with their fingers.  I finally got mad and ate the fingers of the next person who did this, and I got up and walked out.  I thought I might get something to eat but since I had already eaten the two fingers it made dinner unnecessary.  [NOTE: This isn't the greatest mnemonic, but I think it would work pretty well for me.  Can you devise a better one?  I'd love to hear what you come up with.]



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