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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɒbsəliːt/
  • (US) enPR: äbsəˈlēt, IPA(key): /ɑbsəˈliːt/, /ˈɑbsəliːt/
  • (file)

Etymology 1Edit

From Latin obsolētus (worn out, gone out of use), past participle of obsolēscere (to wear out, fall into disuse, grow old, decay); see obsolesce.


obsolete (comparative more obsolete, superlative most obsolete)

  1. (of words, equipment, etc.) No longer in use; gone into disuse; disused or neglected (often by preference for something newer, which replaces the subject).
    • 2013 July 20, “The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
    It is speculated that, within a few years, the Internet's speedy delivery of news worldwide will make newspapers obsolete.
    Synonyms: antiquated, deprecated, disused,
  2. (biology) Imperfectly developed; not very distinct.
    • 1891, Charles Dixon, The Birds of Our Rambles: With a Companion for the Country, page 130:
      These two birds somewhat closely resemble each other, but the Sedge Warbler is russet-brown above, the feathers with dark centres, the pale buff eyestripe is very clearly defined, and the underparts are buffish white; the Reed Warbler is more olive on the upper parts, the feathers having no dark centres, the underparts are more inclined to buff, and the eyestripe is nearly obsolete.
    Synonyms: abortive, obscure, rudimental
Usage notesEdit
  • Nouns to which "obsolete" is often applied: word, phrase, equipment, computer, technology, weapon, machine, law, statute, currency, building, idea, skill, concept, custom, theory, tradition, institution.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Latin obsolētō (degrade, soil, sully, stain, defile)


obsolete (third-person singular simple present obsoletes, present participle obsoleting, simple past and past participle obsoleted)

  1. (transitive, US) To cause to become obsolete.
    This software component has been obsoleted.
    We are in the process of obsoleting this product.
Usage notesEdit
  • To obsolete is often used in computing and other technical fields to indicate an effort to remove or replace something.
  • Compare deprecated (no longer considered correct usage).

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit




obsolete f pl

  1. Feminine plural of adjective obsoleto.


Etymology 1Edit



obsolētē (comparative obsolētius, superlative obsolētissimē)

  1. old
  2. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.

Etymology 2Edit




  1. vocative masculine singular of obsolētus


  • obsolete in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers