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From Medieval Latin obituarius, from Latin obitus (a going to a place, approach, usually a going down, setting (as of the sun), fall, ruin, death), from obire (to go or come to, usually go down, set, fall, perish, die), from ob (toward, to) + ire (to go).


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əˈbɪtjʊəɹɪ/, /əʊ̯ˈbɪtjʊəɹɪ/, /əˈbɪtjʊəɹiː/, /əʊ̯ˈbɪtjʊəɹiː/
    • (file)
  • (General American) IPA(key): /əˈbɪt͡ʃuˌɜɹi/, /oʊˈbɪt͡ʃuˌɜɹi/, /əˈbɪt͡ʃəɹi/, /oʊˈbɪt͡ʃəɹi/


obituary (plural obituaries)

  1. A brief notice of a person’s death, as published in a newspaper.
    Synonym: (colloquial) obit
    • 2001, Marc Klein, Serendipity, spoken by Dean (Jeremy Piven):
      You know the Greeks didn't write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: "Did he have passion?".
    • 2007, Bridget Fowler, The Obituary as Collective Memory, Routledge, →ISBN:
      Obituary editors are confronted daily with the need to make delicate hermeneutic interpretations of the social meaning of individuals' deaths and to express these powerfully to their readership.
  2. A biography of a recently deceased person, written by a journalist and published in a newspaper.
  3. A register of deaths in a monastery.

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]

  • necrology (listing of people who have died during a specific period of time)


obituary (not comparable)

  1. Relating to the death of a person.

Further reading[edit]