• Obsolete


    • UK IPA: /ɒbsəˈliːt/
    • US enPR: äbsəˈlēt, IPA: /ɑbsəˈliːt/


    From Latin obsoletus ("worn out, gone out of use"), past participle of obsolescere ("to wear out, fall into disuse, grow old, decay"); see obsolesce.

    Full definition of obsolete



    1. (of words, equipment, etc.) No longer in use; gone into disuse; disused or neglected (often by preference for something newer, which replaces the subject).
      • 2013-07-20, The attack of the MOOCs, Since the launch early last year of  two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
    2. It is speculated that, within a few years, the Internet's speedy delivery of news worldwide will make newspapers obsolete.
    3. (biology) Imperfectly developed; not very distinct.

    Usage notes

    Nouns to which "obsolete" is often applied: word, phrase, equipment, computer, technology, weapon, machine, law, statute, currency, building, idea, skill, concept, custom, theory, tradition, institution.


    Derived terms


    1. (transitive, US)Oxford Dictionary To cause to become obsolete.This software component has been obsoleted.We are in the process of obsoleting this product.

    Usage notes

    To obsolete is often used in computing and other technical fields to indicate an effort to remove or replace something.

    Compare deprecated ("no longer considered correct usage")

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