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 (ŏb-to͞os′, -tyo͞os′, əb-)
adj. ob·tus·er, ob·tus·est
a. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect.
b. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: an obtuse remark.
c. Not distinctly felt: an obtuse pain.
a. Not sharp, pointed, or acute in form; blunt.
b. Having an obtuse angle: an obtuse triangle.
c. Botany Having a blunt or rounded tip: an obtuse leaf.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin obtūsus, past participle of obtundere, to blunt; see obtund.]

ob·tuse′ly adv.
ob·tuse′ness n.
Usage Note: Obtuse is sometimes used where one might expect abstruse instead, but the Usage Panel is divided on the acceptability of these usages. In our 2009 survey, 55 percent of the Usage Panel rejected obtuse meaning "recondite," as in The reader has to struggle through dense prose and obtuse references to modern philosophers. Some 52 percent rejected the word when used to mean "indirect or oblique" in the sentence Divorce is mentioned, and there are a few obtuse references to sex. By contrast, 56 percent accepted sentences in which obtuse was used to mean "hard to follow or understand" in the phrases obtuse instructions and obtuse explanation. Perhaps the use of the word as a sophisticated synonym of stupid makes these extended derogatory uses more tolerable than they otherwise might be.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.obtusely - in a stupid manner; "he had so rapaciously desired and so obtusely expected to find her alone"


[əbˈtjuːslɪ] advottusamente
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References in periodicals archive ?
3W) with a short, rectangular, central tooth, with projecting horse-shoe but blade like; first lateral tooth wing-shaped and slightly curved, with rounded surface in upper part; second lateral tooth with broadly rectangular head, with three obtusely pointed, large denticles, almost equal-sized, outer one slightly shorter than others (Fig.
This genus is characterized by the moderately transverse pronotum, which lateral margins arcuate towards anterior angles which are strongly round, posterior angles obtusely rounded; the broadly and entirely explanate lateral margins of elytra; the narrow prosternal process, very slender palpi and distinctly appendiculate claws.
Haiti is a country that has said, 'We choose Satan and reject God,' " the group's leader obtusely explained.
1 mm long, free, glabrous, white except for the red apex, the adaxial ones carinate with keels decurrent on the ovary, the abaxial one obtusely if at all carinate; petals narrowly lanceolate, apex acuminate to acute, suberect at anthesis, 18-25 x 4 mm, free, purple, bearing 2 irregularly digitate-lacerate appendages 6-8 mm above the base.
Seedling shoots are obtusely angled, floccose (appear cottony) and tomentose (having very fine hairs on the surface) when young (Zheng & Raven, 1996).
2), wide, narrow, setose; posterior border obtusely convex.
Yet President Bush, one day after the release of the report, obtusely warned in a press conference: "I have said Iran is dangerous, and the NIE doesn't do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world.
Plants perennial, rhizomatous; roots felt-covered with yellowish hairs; fertile culms 35-70 cm tall, obtusely trigonous, smooth, with glabrous, reddish brown basal sheaths.
One councilor even suggested, obtusely, that the manager have another budget ready tonight in case the 3-inch-thick proposal is voted down.
Edmund obtusely fails to see this description as the portrait of Dr.
An especially quiet boy, Nicolas is isolated from the other children even before he arrives at the school: Everyone else goes by bus, but Nicolas's obtusely fretful father, alarmed by a recent school bus accident, insists on driving the few hundred miles to the school himself, only to forget, once there, to unpack Nicolas's luggage from the trunk.
The adult education chapter serves as an important reminder that adult education has always been interested in issues of work and learning, sometimes intimately as in the Antigonish movement and sometimes more obtusely in the recognition that adult students were also workers.