Definition of obviate in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Remove (a need or difficulty)

    ‘the Venetian blinds obviated the need for curtains’
    • ‘When it does become a reality, it is not expected to obviate the need for treatment.’
    • ‘Forcing that outcome now is right and timely, and may obviate the need to pursue it militarily later.’
    • ‘As such, the system already obviates the need for journals to pay for the work that they publish.’
    • ‘The new boards obviate the need for accurately positioned spotlights or coloured bulbs.’
    • ‘Should this obviate the need to consider alternative theories?’
    • ‘The vast majority of adenomas can be removed at colonoscopy, obviating the need for surgery.’
    • ‘All of which rather obviates the need for an answer to my first question.’
    • ‘The diagnostic yield of bronchoalveolar lavage approaches 90%, obviating the need for biopsy in most cases.’
    • ‘All the terraces are concrete, which obviates the need to worry about timber decking rotting or getting slippery when wet.’
    • ‘This capability has major logistic advantages in obviating the need to carry other fuels to battle.’
    • ‘This construction obviates the need to incorporate time into the backward construction of genealogical histories.’
    • ‘The simplicity of the product would also obviate the need for independent financial advice at the point of sale.’
    • ‘And there are a number of cases that appear to obviate the need for a specifically partisan approach.’
    • ‘It won't obviate the need for the Government to address the chronic skills crisis that's facing our military.’
    • ‘Limiting exceptions to the rule to clear cases obviates the need for deliberation in every case.’
    • ‘But then, that would obviate the need for Mozart's Marriage of Figaro.’
    • ‘First, a well-functioning market economy does not obviate the need for democracy and civil and political rights.’
    • ‘A wind-based ventilation system installed in the eco-floatel obviates the need for an air-conditioner.’
    • ‘My own view is that by turning over this information, we obviate the need for Matt to even testify, let alone be incarcerated.’
    • ‘This, however, does not obviate the need for democratic forces to formulate a strategy for change.’
    preclude, prevent, remove, get rid of, do away with, get round, rule out, eliminate, make unnecessary, take away, foreclose, avoid, avert, counter
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Avoid; prevent.
      ‘a parachute can be used to obviate disaster’
      • ‘Our study obviates that criticism, because the antibodies we used are directed toward CXCL12 rather than to CXCR4-bearing NSCLC cells.’
      • ‘This incredible pillow-based innovation permits grandkids to obviate unpleasant grandma kisses and avoid exposure to toxic grandpa odors.’
      • ‘However, characterizing the migration and traction of a population of cells assuming time invariance obviates determination of dynamic changes in the associated parameters.’
      • ‘As they made changes in the military doctrine, its authors practically obviated such concepts as strategic offensive operation in continental TO.’
      • ‘This obviated much of the criticism that would have occurred if funding had been diverted from standard health or law enforcement budgets.’
      • ‘By permitting the use of suffer materials, it may obviate the problem of undesired sticking of particulates.’
      • ‘Third, hypoxia can be induced surreptitiously, obviating behavioral responses at the time where critical measurements are made.’


Late 16th century: from late Latin obviat- ‘prevented’, from the verb obviare, based on Latin via ‘way’.