Thursday, January 20, 2005

Webster Dictionary Word of the Day: Obviate

Word of the Day

obviate \AHB-vee-ayt\ verb

: to anticipate and prevent (as a situation) or make unnecessary (as an action)

Example sentence:
Rob checks every ledger entry twice to obviate any problems when it comes time for an audit.

Did you know?
"Obviate" derives from the Late Latin "obviare" (meaning "to meet or withstand") and the Latin "obviam," which means "in the way" and is also an ancestor of our adjective "obvious." "Obviate" has a number of synonyms in English, including "prevent," "preclude," and "avert"; all of these words can mean to hinder or stop something. When you prevent or preclude something, you put up an insurmountable obstacle. In addition, "preclude" often implies that a degree of chance was involved in stopping an event. "Obviate" generally suggests the use of intelligence or forethought to ward off trouble. "Avert" always implies that a bad situation has been anticipated and prevented or deflected by the application of immediate and effective means.

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