objet (n.) Look up objet at Dictionary.com
"an object on display, an ornament," 1857, from French objet (14c.), especially in objet d'art (1865), from Latin objectus (see object (n.)).
objurgate (v.) Look up objurgate at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin obiurgatus, past participle of obiurgare "to chide, rebuke," from ob- (see ob-) + iurgare "to quarrel, scold," from phrase iure agere "to deal in a lawsuit," from ablative of ius "right; law; suit" (see just (adj.)) + agere "to set in motion, drive forward, do, perform," also "plead a cause at law" (see act (n.)). Related: Objurgatory.
objurgation (n.) Look up objurgation at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Latin obiurgationem (nominative obiurgatio) "a chiding, reproving, reproof," noun of action from past participle stem of obiurgare (see objurgate).
oblate (adj.) Look up oblate at Dictionary.com
"flattened on the ends," 1705, from Medieval Latin oblatus "flattened," from Latin ob "toward" (see ob-) + latus, abstracted from its opposite, prolatus "lengthened" (see oblate (n.)).
oblate (n.) Look up oblate at Dictionary.com
"person devoted to religious work," 1756, from Medieval Latin oblatus, noun use of Latin oblatus, variant past participle of offerre "to offer, to bring before," from ob- (see ob-) + latus "carried, borne" (used as suppletive past participle of ferre "to bear"), said by Watkins to be from *tlatos, from PIE root *tele- "to bear, carry" (see extol), but de Vaan says "No good etymology available."
oblation (n.) Look up oblation at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Old French oblacion "offering, pious donation" and directly from Latin oblationem (nominative oblatio) "an offering, presenting, gift," in Late Latin "sacrifice," from Latin oblatus (see oblate (n.)).
obligate (v.) Look up obligate at Dictionary.com
1540s, "to bind, connect;" 1660s, "to put under moral obligation," back-formation from obligation, or else from Latin obligatus, past participle of obligare (see oblige). Oblige, with which it has been confused since late 17c., means "to do one a favor." Related: Obligated; obligating.
obligation (n.) Look up obligation at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Old French obligacion "obligation, duty, responsibility" (early 13c.) and directly from Latin obligationem (nominative obligatio) "an engaging or pledging," literally "a binding" (but rarely used in this sense), noun of action from past participle stem of obligare (see oblige). The notion is of binding with promises or by law or duty.
obligatory (adj.) Look up obligatory at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from Old French obligatoire "creating an obligation, obligatory," and directly from Late Latin obligatorius "binding," from obligat-, past participle stem of obligare (see oblige).
oblige (v.) Look up oblige at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "to bind by oath," from Old French obligier "engage one's faith, commit (oneself), pledge" (13c.), from Latin obligare "to bind, bind up, bandage," figuratively "put under obligation," from ob "to" (see ob-) + ligare "to bind," from PIE root *leig- "to bind" (see ligament). Main modern meaning "to make (someone) indebted by conferring a benefit or kindness" is from 1560s. Related: obliged; obliging.
obliged (adj.) Look up obliged at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, past participle adjective from oblige. To be obliged "be bound by ties of gratitude" is from 1540s.
obligee (n.) Look up obligee at Dictionary.com
"person to whom another is bound by contract," 1570s, from oblige + -ee.
obliging (adj.) Look up obliging at Dictionary.com
"willing to do service or favors," 1630s, present participle adjective from oblige. Related: Obligingly.
obligor (n.) Look up obligor at Dictionary.com
"person who binds himself to another by contract," 1540s, agent noun in Latin form from oblige.
oblique (adj.) Look up oblique at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French oblique (14c.) and directly from Latin obliquus "slanting, sidelong, indirect," from ob "against" (see ob-) + root of licinus "bent upward," from PIE root *lei- "to bend, be movable" (see limb (n.1)). As a type of muscles, in reference to the axis of the body, 1610s (adj.), 1800 (n.). Related: Obliquely; obliqueness.
obliquity (n.) Look up obliquity at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French obliquité (14c.), from Latin obliquitatem (nominative obliquitas) "slanting direction, obliquity," noun of quality from obliquus (see oblique).
obliterate (v.) Look up obliterate at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from Latin obliteratus, past participle of obliterare "cause to disappear, blot out, erase, efface," figuratively "cause to be forgotten," from ob "against" (see ob-) + littera (also litera) "letter, script" (see letter (n.)); abstracted from phrase literas scribere "write across letters, strike out letters." Related: Obliterated; obliterating.
obliteration (n.) Look up obliteration at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Late Latin obliterationem (nominative obliteratio), noun of action from past participle stem of obliterare (see obliterate).
obliviate (v.) Look up obliviate at Dictionary.com
1660s, from Latin oblivium (see oblivion). Related: Obliviated; obliviating.
oblivion (n.) Look up oblivion at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "state or fact of forgetting," from Old French oblivion (13c.) and directly from Latin oblivionem (nominative oblivio) "forgetfulness; a being forgotten," from oblivisci (past participle oblitus) "forget," originally "even out, smooth over, efface," from ob "over" (see ob-) + root of levis "smooth," from PIE *lei-w-, from root *(s)lei- "slime, slimy, sticky" (see slime (n.)). Meaning "state of being forgotten" is early 15c.
oblivious (adj.) Look up oblivious at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin obliviosus "forgetful, that easily forgets; producing forgetfulness," from oblivion (see oblivion). Meaning "unaware, unconscious (of something)" is from 1862, formerly regarded as erroneous, this is now the general meaning and the word has lost its original sense of "no longer aware or mindful." Properly should be used with to, not of. Related: Obliviously; obliviousness.
oblong (adj.) Look up oblong at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Latin oblongus "more long than broad," originally "somewhat long," from ob "to, toward," here perhaps intensive (see ob-) + longus "long" (see long (adj.)). As a noun from c. 1600.
obloquy (n.) Look up obloquy at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "evil speaking," from Late Latin obloquium "speaking against, contradiction," from Latin obloqui "to speak against, contradict," from ob "against" (see ob-) + loqui "to speak," from PIE *tolk(w)- "to speak" (see locution). Related: Obloquious.
obnoxious (adj.) Look up obnoxious at Dictionary.com
1580s, "subject to the authority of another," from Latin obnoxiosus "hurtful, injurious," from obnoxius "subject, exposed to harm," from ob "to, toward" (see ob-) + noxa "injury, hurt, damage entailing liability" (see noxious). Meaning "subject to something harmful" is 1590s; meaning "offensive, hateful" is first recorded 1670s, influenced by noxious.
Obnoxious has two very different senses, one of which (exposed or open or liable to attack or injury) requires notice because its currency is now so restricted that it is puzzling to the uninstructed. It is the word's rightful or de jure meaning, and we may hope that scholarly writers will keep it alive. [Fowler]
Related: Obnoxiously; obnoxiousness.
obnubilate (v.) Look up obnubilate at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Latin obnibulatus, past participle of obnubilare "to cover with clouds or fog," from ob- (see ob-) + verb from Latin nubes "cloud" (see nuance). Related: Obnubilated; obnubilating; obnubilation.
obo Look up obo at Dictionary.com
also o.b.o., abbreviation of or best offer, by 1969.
oboe (n.) Look up oboe at Dictionary.com
1724, from Italian oboe, from phonetic spelling of Middle French hautbois (itself borrowed in English 16c. as hautboy), from haut "high, loud, high-pitched" (see haught) + bois "wood" (see bush (n.)). So called because it had the highest register among woodwind instruments. Related: Oboist.
obol (n.) Look up obol at Dictionary.com
ancient Greek small coin and weight, 1660s, from Latin obolus, from Greek obolos, identical with obelos "a spit, needle." From the original shape.
obscene (adj.) Look up obscene at Dictionary.com
1590s, "offensive to the senses, or to taste and refinement," from Middle French obscène (16c.), from Latin obscenus "offensive," especially to modesty, originally "boding ill, inauspicious," of unknown origin; perhaps from ob "onto" (see ob-) + caenum "filth." Meaning "offensive to modesty or decency" is attested from 1590s. Legally, in U.S., it hinged on "whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to a prurient interest." [Justice William Brennan, "Roth v. United States," June 24, 1957]; refined in 1973 by "Miller v. California":
The basic guidelines for the trier of fact must be: (a) whether 'the average person, applying contemporary community standards' would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
Related: Obscenely.
obscenity (n.) Look up obscenity at Dictionary.com
1580s, "obscene quality," from French obscénité, from Latin obscenitatem (nominative obscenitas) "inauspiciousness, filthiness," from obscenus "offensive" (see obscene). Meaning "a foul or loathsome act" is 1610s. Sense of "an obscene utterance or word" is attested by 1690. Related: Obscenities.
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.
When I was asked to talk about the Obscurity of the Modern Poet I was delighted, for I have suffered from this obscurity all my life. But then I realized that I was being asked to talk not about the fact that people don't read poetry, but about the fact that most of them wouldn't understand it if they did .... [Randall Jarrell, "The Obscurity of Poetry," 1953]
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.