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From Latin obviāre (to block, to hinder).



obviate (third-person singular simple present obviates, present participle obviating, simple past and past participle obviated)

  1. (transitive) To bypass a requirement or make it unnecessary; to avoid a future problem or difficult situation.
    They saved enough money for their purchase and obviated the need to borrow.
    The Internet has largely obviated printed phone books.
    • 1826, Richard Reece, A Practical Dissertation on the Means of Obviating & Treating the Varieties of Costiveness, page 181:
      A mild dose of a warm active aperient to obviate costiveness, or to produce two motions daily, is generally very beneficial.
    • 2004, David J. Anderson, Agile Management for Software Engineering, page 180:
      Some change requests, rather than extend the scope, obviate some of the existing scope of a project.
    • 2008, William S. Kroger, Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis: In Medicine, Dentistry, and Psychology, page 163:
      Thus, to obviate resistance, the discussion should be relevant to the patient′s problems.





  1. second-person plural present active imperative of obviō