obscurant (adj.) Look up obscurant at Dictionary.com
1878, from Latin obscurantem (nominative obscurans), present participle of obscurare (see obscure (v.)).
obscurantism (n.) Look up obscurantism at Dictionary.com
"opposition to enlightenment," 1834, from German obscurantismus (18c.); see obscurant + -ism.
obscurantist (n.) Look up obscurantist at Dictionary.com
1841; see obscurantism + -ist.
obscuration (n.) Look up obscuration at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Latin obscurationem (nominative obscuratio) "a darkening, obscuring," noun of action from past participle stem of obscurare (see obscure (v.)).
obscure (adj.) Look up obscure at Dictionary.com
c.1400, "dark," figuratively "morally unenlightened; gloomy," from Old French obscur, oscur "dark, clouded, gloomy; dim, not clear" (12c.) and directly from Latin obscurus "dark, dusky, shady," figuratively "unknown; unintelligible; hard to discern; from insignificant ancestors," from ob "over" (see ob-) + -scurus "covered," from PIE *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal" (see sky). Related: Obscurely.
obscure (v.) Look up obscure at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to cover (something), cloud over," from obscure (adj.) or else from Middle French obscurer, from Latin obscurare "to make dark, darken, obscure," from obscurus. Related: Obscured; obscuring.
obscurity (n.) Look up obscurity at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "absence of light;" 1610s with meaning "condition of being unknown;" from obscure (adj.) + -ity; or else from Middle French obscurité, variant of Old French oscureté "darkness, gloom; vagueness, confusion; insignificance" (14c.), from Latin obscuritatem (nominative obscuritas) "darkness, indistinctness, uncertainty," from obscurus.
obsecration (n.) Look up obsecration at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin obsecrationem (nominative obsecratio) "a beseeching, imploring, supplication, entreaty," noun of action from past participle stem of obsecrare "to beseech, entreat" (on religious grounds), from ob- (see ob-) + sacrare "to make or declare sacred" (see sacred).
obsequies (n.) Look up obsequies at Dictionary.com
"funeral rites," plural of obsequy.
obsequious (adj.) Look up obsequious at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "prompt to serve," from Middle French obséquieux (15c.), from Latin obsequiosus "compliant, obedient," from obsequium "compliance, dutiful service," from obsequi "to accommodate oneself to the will of another," from ob "after" (see ob-) + sequi "to follow" (see sequel). Pejorative sense of "fawning, sycophantic" had emerged by 1590s. Related: Obsequiously; obsequiousness (mid-15c.).
obsequy (n.) Look up obsequy at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French obseque, osseque "funeral rites," from Medieval Latin obsequiae, influenced in sense by confusion of Latin obsequium "compliance" (see obsequious) with exsequiae "funeral rites." Now usually in plural, obsequies.
observable (adj.) Look up observable at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Latin observabilis "remarkable, observable," from observare (see observe). Related: Observably; observability.
observance (n.) Look up observance at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "act performed in accordance with prescribed usage," especially a religious or ceremonial one, from Old French observance, osservance "observance, discipline," or directly from Latin observantia "act of keeping customs, attention, respect, regard, reverence," from observantem (nominative observans), present participle of observare (see observe). Observance is the attending to and carrying out of a duty or rule. Observation is watching, noticing.
observant (adj.) Look up observant at Dictionary.com
1590s, from observe + -ant, or else from French observant, past participle of observer (see observance). In reference to Judaism, from 1902. As a noun from late 15c. Related: Observantly; observantness.
observation (n.) Look up observation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "performance of a religious rite," from Latin observationem (nominative observatio) "a watching over, observance, investigation," noun of action from past participle stem of observare (see observe). Sense of "act or fact of paying attention" is from 1550s. Meaning "a remark in reference to something observed" first recorded 1590s.
observative (adj.) Look up observative at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin observat-, past participle stem of observare (see observe) + -ive.
observatory (n.) Look up observatory at Dictionary.com
"building for observing astronomical phenomena," 1670s (in reference to Greenwich), from French observatoire, from observer (v.); see observe.
observe (v.) Look up observe at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to hold to" (a manner of life or course of conduct), from Old French observer, osserver "to observe, watch over, follow" (10c.), from Latin observare "watch over, note, heed, look to, attend to, guard, regard, comply with," from ob "over" (see ob-) + servare "to watch, keep safe," from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect." Meaning "to attend to in practice, to keep, follow" is attested from late 14c. Sense of "watch, perceive, notice" is 1560s, via notion of "see and note omens." Meaning "to say by way of remark" is from c.1600. Related: Observed; observing.
observer (n.) Look up observer at Dictionary.com
1550s, "one who keeps a rule, custom, etc.," agent noun from observe. Meaning "one who watches and takes notice" is from 1580s; this is the sense of the word in many newspaper names.
obsess (v.) Look up obsess at Dictionary.com
c.1500, "to besiege," from Latin obsessus, past participle of obsidere "watch closely; besiege, occupy; stay, remain, abide" literally "sit opposite to," from ob "against" (see ob-) + sedere "sit" (see sedentary). Of evil spirits, "to haunt," from 1530s. Psychological sense is 20c. Related: Obsessed; obsessing.
obsessed (adj.) Look up obsessed at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "tormented, obsessed," past participle adjective from obsess. Originally especially "possessed" by a devil, etc.
obsession (n.) Look up obsession at Dictionary.com
1510s, "action of besieging," from French obsession and directly from Latin obsessionem (nominative obsessio) "siege, blockade, a blocking up," noun of action from past participle stem of obsidere "to besiege" (see obsess). Later (c.1600), "hostile action of an evil spirit" (like possession but without the spirit actually inhabiting the body). Transferred sense of "action of anything which engrosses the mind" is from 1670s. Psychological sense is from 1901.
obsessive (adj.) Look up obsessive at Dictionary.com
1911, from obsess + -ive. Related: Obsessively. Obsessive-compulsive is attested from 1927.
obsidian (n.) Look up obsidian at Dictionary.com
"dark, hard volcanic rock," 1650s, from Latin obsidianus, misprint of Obsianus (lapis) "(stone) of Obsius," name of a Roman alleged by Pliny to have found this rock in Ethiopia.
obsolesce (v.) Look up obsolesce at Dictionary.com
1801, from Latin obsolescere "to grow old, wear out, lose value, become obsolete," inchoative of obsolere "fall into disuse" (see obsolete). Related: Obsolesced; obsolescing.
obsolescence (n.) Look up obsolescence at Dictionary.com
1809; see obsolescent + -ence. Phrase Planned obsolescence coined 1932, revived as a disparaging term 1950s.
obsolescent (adj.) Look up obsolescent at Dictionary.com
1755, from Latin obsolescentum (nominative obsolescens), present participle of obsolescere "fall into disuse" (see obsolete).
obsolete (adj.) Look up obsolete at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Latin obsoletus "grown old, worn out," past participle of obsolescere "fall into disuse," probably from ob "away" (see ob-) + an expanded form of solere "to be used to, be accustomed" (see insolent).
obstacle (n.) Look up obstacle at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French obstacle, ostacle "opposition, obstruction, hindrance" (13c.) or directly from Latin obstaculum "a hindrance, obstacle," with instrumental suffix *-tlom + obstare "stand before, stand opposite to, block, hinder, thwart," from ob "against" (see ob-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).
The lover thinks more often of reaching his mistress than the husband of guarding his wife; the prisoner thinks more often of escaping than the gaoler of shutting his door; and so, whatever the obstacles may be, the lover and the prisoner ought to succeed. [Stendhal, "Charterhouse of Parma"]
Obstacle course is attested from 1891.
obstetric (adj.) Look up obstetric at Dictionary.com
1742, from Modern Latin obstetricus "pertaining to a midwife," from obstetrix (genitive obstetricis) "midwife," literally "one who stands opposite (the woman giving birth)," from obstare "stand opposite to" (see obstacle). The true adjective would be obstetricic, "but only pedantry would take exception to obstetric at this stage of its career." [Fowler]. Related: Obstetrical.
obstetrician (n.) Look up obstetrician at Dictionary.com
1828, from Latin obstetricia "midwifery," from obstetricus (see obstetric) on model of physician.
obstetrics (n.) Look up obstetrics at Dictionary.com
"science of midwifery," 1819, from obstetric (adj.); also see -ics.
obstinacy (n.) Look up obstinacy at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Medieval Latin obstinatia, from obstinatus (see obstinate).
obstinance (n.) Look up obstinance at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Medieval Latin obstinantia, from obstinantem, from obstinatus "resolved, determined, resolute" (see obstinate).
obstinate (adj.) Look up obstinate at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Latin obstinatus "resolute, resolved, determined, inflexible, stubborn," past participle of obstinare "persist, stand stubbornly, set one's mind on," from ob "by" (see ob-) + stinare (related to stare "stand") from PIE *ste-no-, from root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Related: Obstinately.
obstipation (n.) Look up obstipation at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Latin obstipationem (nominative obstipatio), noun of action from *obstipare "action of blocking or stopping up," from ob- (see ob-) + stipare "to press together, to pack" (see stiff (adj.)).
obstreperous (adj.) Look up obstreperous at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Latin obstreperus "clamorous," from obstrepere "drown with noise, make a noise against, oppose noisily," from ob "against" (see ob-) + strepere "make a noise," from PIE *strep-, said to be imitative (compare Latin stertare "to snore," Old Norse þrapt "chattering," Old English þræft "quarrel"). Related: Obstreperously; obstreperousness.
obstruct (v.) Look up obstruct at Dictionary.com
1610s, a back-formation from obstruction or else from Latin obstructus, past participle of obstruere "to block, to stop up" (see obstruction). Related: Obstructed; obstructing.
obstruction (n.) Look up obstruction at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Latin obstructionem (nominative obstructio) "an obstruction, barrier, a building up," noun of action from past participle stem of obstruere "build up, block, block up, build against, stop, bar, hinder," from ob "against" (see ob-) + struere "to pile, build" (see structure (n.)).
obstructionism (n.) Look up obstructionism at Dictionary.com
1879, from obstruction + -ism.
obstructionist (n.) Look up obstructionist at Dictionary.com
1846, from obstruction + -ist.
obstructive (adj.) Look up obstructive at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin obstruct-, past participle stem of obstruere (see obstruction) + -ive.
obtain (v.) Look up obtain at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French obtenir "acquire, obtain" (14c.), from Latin obtinere "hold, hold fast, take hold of, get possession of, acquire," from ob "to" (though perhaps intensive in this case; see ob-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Related: Obtained; obtaining.
obtainable (adj.) Look up obtainable at Dictionary.com
1610s, from obtain + -able. Related: Obtainability.
obtrude (v.) Look up obtrude at Dictionary.com
1550s, from Latin obtrudere "to thrust into, press upon," from ob "toward" (see ob-) + trudere "to thrust" (see extrusion). Related: Obtruded; obtruding.
obtrusion (n.) Look up obtrusion at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Latin obtrusionem (nominative obtrusio), noun of action from past participle stem of obtrudere (see obtrude).
obtrusive (adj.) Look up obtrusive at Dictionary.com
1660s, from Latin obtrus-, past participle stem of obtrudere (see obtrude) + -ive. Related: Obtrusively; obtrusiveness.
obtund (v.) Look up obtund at Dictionary.com
c.1400, (transitive) "to render dead, make dull," used occasionally in English, especially in medical jargon; from Latin obtundere "to blunt, make dull, weaken, exhaust," literally "to beat against" (see obtuse). Related: Obtundation; obtunded.
obtuse (adj.) Look up obtuse at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "dull, blunted," from Middle French obtus (fem. obtuse), from Latin obtusus "blunted, dull," also used figuratively, past participle of obtundere "to beat against, make dull," from ob "against" (see ob-) + tundere "to beat," from PIE *(s)tud-e- "to beat, strike, push, thrust," from root *(s)teu- "to push, stick, knock, beat" (cognates: Latin tudes "hammer," Sanskrit tudati "he thrusts"). Sense of "stupid" is first found c.1500. Related: Obtusely; obtuseness.
obverse (adj.) Look up obverse at Dictionary.com
"turned toward the observer, frontal," 1650s, from Latin obversus "turned against, directed toward," past participle of obvertere "to turn toward or against," from ob "toward" (see ob-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). According to OED, not in common use until the end of the 18th century. The noun, in reference to coins, medals, etc. (opposite of reverse), is attested from 1650s. Related: Obversely.