Definition of obtuse in English:

obtuse

adjective

  • 1Annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand.

    ‘he wondered if the doctor was being deliberately obtuse’
    • ‘To this end, the Peak began to ask how America could be so obtuse as to not understand the motives behind the attack.’
    • ‘When Stephen Sondheim's Follies arrived in 1971, we critics were pretty obtuse about it.’
    • ‘You have to love that intentionally obtuse use of the conditional ‘in case’ - as if the Times reporter didn't really know what the real plan was.’
    • ‘This is not because they are obtuse or stupid or misdirected.’
    • ‘Really, I can't understand how Raspberry would be so obtuse to confuse cause and effect.’
    • ‘When I pressed her and told her of Alana's increasing concern about her eyesight, she looked at me as if I were being deliberately obtuse.’
    • ‘When she says Home is ‘quite difficult to describe’ because ‘it doesn't have a plot ’, McCartney isn't being awkward or obtuse, just careful.’
    • ‘The mainstream media would do us a lot of good by not being obtuse about it.’
    • ‘Klein was being deliberately obtuse it seems to me.’
    • ‘Those who don't get this are either sadly uninformed or deliberately obtuse.’
    • ‘But, being rather obtuse at times, I ignored it.’
    • ‘Young man, are you being deliberately obtuse and provocative?’
    • ‘Mother can be a little obtuse when she chooses so I didn't shoot back sarcastically, ‘No Mother, I'm doing this out of the goodness of my heart.’’
    • ‘Luskin tells Isikoff he did nothing wrong but now concedes ‘I was completely obtuse about the optics of the situation.’’
    • ‘He's bipolar and I'm completely obtuse to someone's behaviour, so it's a perfect match.’
    • ‘I frowned, wondering if he was deliberately being obtuse, like I had been with him earlier.’
    • ‘I wouldn't say these guys were necessarily trying for a hit… they're too obtuse for such a crass act.’
    stupid, dull, slow-witted, slow, dull-witted, unintelligent, witless, half-baked, half-witted, doltish, lumpish, blockish, imperceptive
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Difficult to understand, especially deliberately so.
      ‘some of the lyrics are a bit obtuse’
      • ‘What's more, it turned a difficult, obtuse administrative issue - campaign financing - into an easy-to-grasp, emotionally appealing one.’
      • ‘With some it's all there if you read between the lines, while others are deliberately obtuse to maintain an element of privacy.’
      • ‘The deadpan humour behind their stone-faced radical posturing and deliberately obtuse lyrics were certainly overlooked by many.’
      • ‘I have noted from reading Hansard and other reports that some members in this House are being deliberately obtuse on this matter.’
      • ‘At the first obtuse fact and boring tangent, readers will ditch them.’
      • ‘Even for him, this is an especially difficult and obtuse text.’
      • ‘Also known for her potent, often obtuse poetry is Tori Amos.’
      • ‘This recording is deeply, willfully obtuse, enigmatic and difficult.’
      • ‘Brad is being both condescending and obtuse - I have difficulty in seeing any evidence whatsoever of infantilism in the piece that he quotes.’
      • ‘Worse again, he put together arrangements for his music which were obtuse and wilfully difficult.’
      • ‘My friend here has made an obtuse reference to someone watching us, and to keep our eyes open.’
      • ‘But all their early 90's radical reinvention meant was wrapping the songs in deliberately obtuse production to make it seem cutting edge.’
      • ‘The lyrics are suitably obtuse and playful, with just the right amount of post-industrial alienation to re-awaken that eastern block new wave spirit.’
      • ‘In the fullness of time, ninety-nine percent of the bad, ugly, stupid, obtuse, and banal remains so, and remains so unmemorable that it sinks into oblivion.’
      • ‘The inner mysteries consist of more complex or obtuse symbolism which exists within these same stories.’
      • ‘Lily wondered if he was deliberately being obtuse.’
  • 2(of an angle) more than 90° and less than 180°

    ‘an obtuse angle of 150°’
    • ‘The rear of the craft was square so the whole thing appeared to be an obtuse triangle with the large angle at the nose.’
    • ‘I found it, I measured it, and, well, I'm sorry, people, but an obtuse angle of 134 degrees just ain't a corner.’
    • ‘The fracture surfaces form acute and obtuse angles with the outer surface of the bone, and they exhibit no perturbations caused by split lines.’
    • ‘One caveat here for the stick-right or stick-left position - be careful not to throw the dice at an obtuse angle to the back wall.’
    • ‘Anterior margin of carapace slightly acuminate with less obtuse cardinal angle than posterior margin.’
    • ‘As if the obtuse angle between his thighs isn't enough, Farrell is actually leaning back in his chair.’
    • ‘Cardinal angles distinct and obtuse with the posterior one being more obtuse than anterior one.’
    • ‘Other relatively predictable adaptations are the development of an obtuse angle between the scapula and coracoid and the loss of the furcula.’
    • ‘Saccheri proved that the hypothesis of the obtuse angle implied the fifth postulate, so obtaining a contradiction.’
    • ‘The LRF - 800's performance in the field, especially on smaller objects and those with severely obtuse angles, remains to seen.’
    • ‘Walls unexpectedly meet at acute and obtuse angles rather than commonplace right angles.’
    • ‘The largest angle of an obtuse triangle is more than 90 degrees, and the largest angle of an acute triangle is less than 90 degrees.’
    • ‘The ileocaecal angle is distorted and often obtuse.’
    • ‘Flat-roofed with lots of glass and obtuse angles sticking out from the corner of a meadow, it is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright designs.’
    • ‘Black and white with a tasteful blue cover, Smoke peers out at the capital from an obtuse angle.’
    • ‘The cutting edge includes two sections which form an obtuse angle and in the area of a roof-shaped tip merge into each other.’
    • ‘These students had studied different types of angles e.g., acute, straight and obtuse angles, and discussed the notion of adjacent angles.’
  • 3Not sharp-pointed or sharp-edged; blunt.

    ‘it had strange obtuse teeth’
    • ‘Left anterior auricle shallow, with straight dorsal margin and obtuse, outwardly concave anterior margin lacking a byssal sinus.’
    • ‘The domes are obtuse and flat and are quite distant from each other.’
    • ‘In addition, it differs from C. magna in the absence of a closed talonid basin of the m3 and in the obtuse shape of the parastylc of M3.’
    • ‘The labellum is broad and obtuse, except for the yellow base, which stands erect and half-encloses the column.’
    • ‘The sepals are obtuse to rounded, but never retuse as in some plants of L. racemulosa.’
    • ‘It is a luxuriant plant with opposite oblong and obvoate leaves which abruptly acuminate apically and are obtuse to basally rounded.’
    • ‘The relatively obtuse rostrum terminates almost directly in front of the anteriormost tooth socket.’
    • ‘The muri have an obtuse shape (black arrowhead).’
    • ‘Arcomytilus has a truncated posterior flank between two low, obtuse ridges not found on Nodomytilus.’
    • ‘The base of each valve was rounded in both lines, but was blunt and obtuse in Apex and more tapered in DK142.’
    rounded, flat, thick, stubby, stubbed, unpointed
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in obtuse (sense 3)): from Latin obtusus, past participle of obtundere ‘beat against’ (see obtund).

Pronunciation

obtuse

/əbˈtjuːs/