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1. Being in the process of passing out of use or usefulness; becoming obsolete.
2. Biology Becoming reduced during the course of evolution; vestigial or nearly vestigial. Used of an organ or other part of an organism.

[Latin obsolēscēns, obsolēscent-, present participle of obsolēscere, to fall into disuse : ob-, away; see ob- + solēre, to be accustomed to.]

ob′so·les′cence n.
ob′so·les′cent·ly adv.


the process or condition of going out of date or being no longer in use. — obsolescent, adj.
See also: Time



back number An old-fashioned person or outdated object; one whose mode of thought, dress, or behavior is generally regarded as passé. Issues of magazines are designated by number, and the literal term refers to those no longer current. The figurative meaning has been current, however, for almost a century.

There is always some old back number of a girl who has no fellow. (George W. Peck, Peck’s Sunshine, 1882)

nine days’ wonder A person, object, or event that arouses considerable, but short-lived, interest or excitement; a flash in the pan. This expression probably derives from the activities surrounding the observation of major religious feasts during the Middle Ages. Usually nine days in length (hence the term novena ‘a nine-day religious devotion’), these celebrations were accompanied by parades, festivities, and general merriment, after which the people returned to their normal lifestyles. One source suggests that the term may be derived from an ancient proverb: “A wonder lasts nine days, and then the puppy’s eyes are open.” This refers to the fact that dogs are born blind and do not realize their power of sight until they are about nine days old. It implies that the public is temporarily blinded by the dazzling sensationalism of a person or event, but once its eyes are opened, the wonderment soon fades. In Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part III, the King responds to Gloucester’s playful charge that his marriage would be a “ten days’ wonder” with

That’s a day longer than a wonder lasts. (III, ii)

old hat Old-fashioned; out of style; passé. This expression derives from dated headgear. The term is commonplace throughout the United States and Great Britain.

For that matter, tubular stuff [furniture] is now old hat. (New Yorker, October, 1949)

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.obsolescence - the process of becoming obsolete; falling into disuse or becoming out of date; "a policy of planned obsolescence"
degeneration, devolution - the process of declining from a higher to a lower level of effective power or vitality or essential quality


[ˌɒbsəˈlesns] Ncaída f en desuso, obsolescencia f
planned obsolescenceobsolescencia f planificada


[ˌɒbsəˈlɛsəns] n [machine, product] → obsolescence f
built-in obsolescence → obsolescence endogène
planned obsolescence → obsolescence planifiée



[ˈɒbsəˈlɛsns] nobsolescenza
built-in or planned obsolescence (Comm) → obsolescenza programmata


(obsəˈlesnt) adjective
going out of use. obsolescent slang.
ˌobsoˈlescence noun
References in periodicals archive ?
The obsolescence of products is expensive for the planet and the consumer
Arguing that planned obsolescence is unsustainable, involving overexploitation of natural resources and the overproduction of waste, Pope, an environmental law and bio-law lecturer, researcher, and lawyer, examines the unethical practice of strategically making products prematurely obsolete, and its causes, history, cost, consequences, and impact, as well as models for more sustainable patterns of production and consumption and actions to address this practice, including political, legal, and judicial instruments.
It lasted all the way to 1910--a mere thirteen years--a classic example of functional obsolescence.
com)-- Planned obsolescence occurs when a product is designed with the intention of it breaking, failing or becoming unfashionable after a determined period of time.
No matter the outcome, component obsolescence seems like an unavoidable problem in all applications.
And frankly, the responses that were received were fairly surprising considering how significant an impact component obsolescence can make.
A quartet of researchers has published a new book describing the lifecycles of electronics parts and software, and explaining processes of obsolescence forecasting, and reactive, proactive, and strategic management of obsolescence.
On the positive side, many businesses--and not only manufacturers--can take advantage of external obsolescence caused by the economic crunch to reduce the assessed value of their property and, in turn, their property taxes.
This paper attempts to assess the level of obsolescence and the factors leading to it so that efforts could be directed at taking timely corrective measures.
If the suppliers that made those products no longer exist, or no longer make that part, the issue of obsolescence rears its ugly head.
Using data from a survey among Dutch public sector employees, we find that the yearly rate of skills obsolescence is 2.
These include four Web-based continuous learning modules (with a fifth planned); DMSMS, obsolescence, and continuous modernization materials in several of our DAU courses; and comprehensive Web-based materials available on the DAU Logistics Community of Practice (LOG CoP).