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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.obtusely - in a stupid manner; "he had so rapaciously desired and so obtusely expected to find her alone"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[əbˈtjuːslɪ] advottusamente
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
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References in periodicals archive ?
- Leaf margin obtusely serrate...............................
(8) In the South the government ballots were obtusely written so blacks could not read them.
Donnelly, reported in Roll Call that most cuts were obtusely justified with explanations such as "Revised Estimate," "Historical Unobligated Balances," and "Not Properly Accounted."
Yet Cupich is one of those Vigano implicated; he described the cardinal as "blinded by his pro-gay ideology" and noted that upon his appointment to the see of Chicago, Cupich obtusely asserted that homosexuality is not the main source of clergy sexual abuse.
You'll know when PBS has aired a special on evolution because the next day the God-zombies are out in hordes obtusely announcing: "They didn't show any intermediates." And sadly, most guys eat that up.
Frontal carina narrowly reflexed, obtusely subangulate at median, joining eye margin with single ridge.
3d at 335 ("While Congress may be regularly criticized for how it spends the taxpayers' funds, it is certainly not known, thank goodness, for miswriting statutes to obtusely authorize--if not mandate--the expenditure of hundreds of millions of unappropriated funds.").
He is one of the diehard band of Remainers who obtusely still will not accept losing the EU referendum in June last year.
As one of several women employed to meet the needs of the A-lister - alongside a Maternal Girlfriend, Anger Girlfriend and obtusely named 'Intimacy Team' - Mary must offer nurturing and support at scheduled intervals.
Pronotal disc with shallow, small punctures regularly separated and distributed on disc, but less dense near posterior half of midline; lateral margins obtusely angled, widest just behind middle, lateral marginal bead irregularly crenulate, with long, slender setae; anterior marginal bead without setae; anterior angles obtuse, not prominent; posterior angles widely obtuse, rounded.