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  1. (stupidity)  the quality of being slow to understand
    Synonyms: dullness, dulness [British spelling, uncommon]. Type of: stupidity
  2. (bluntness)  the quality of lacking a sharp edge or point
    Type of: dullness

Etymology summary

from Latin obtūsus dulled, past participle of obtundere to beat down; see obtund
(Source: Collins Dictionary)  [more]

Definition references

Collins Dictionary:

obtuseness | obtuse | obtusity | dull [synonym, sense-specific] | obtusely [adverb, derived]

[formal] the state of being mentally slow or emotionally insensitive | [mathematics] the condition of lying between 90° and 180° | the condition of ... (22 of 450 words, 11 definitions, 12 usage examples, pronunciations)


Oxford Dictionary:

obtuse | blunt [synonym, sense-specific] | obtusely [derived] | obtuseness [derived] | obtusity [derived]

annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand | difficult to understand, especially deliberately so | (of an angle) more than 90° and less than 180° | ... (22 of 104 words, 4 definitions, 4 usage examples, pronunciation)


American Heritage Dictionary:

obtuse | obtuser [comparative] | obtusest [superlative] | obtusely [adverb, related] | obtuseness [noun, related]

Lacking quickness of perception or intellect. | Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity | Not distinctly felt | Not sharp, pointed, or ... (21 of 78 words, 6 definitions, 4 usage examples, pronunciation)


New World Dictionary:

obtuse | obtusely [adverb, related] | obtuseness [adverb, related]

not sharp or pointed; blunt | greater than 90 degrees and less than 180 degrees | slow to understand or perceive; dull or insensitive | not producing ... (24 of 55 words, 4 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)



obtuseness | obtusenesses [plural]

Something that is obtuse (4 of 5 words)


Etymology reference

Collins Dictionary:

obtuseness | obtuse

First use: 16th century

Origin: from Latin obtūsus dulled, past participle of obtundere to beat down; see obtund


Audio references

Cambridge Dictionary:

obtuse [entry 2, formal]

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "obtuseness"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "obtuseness"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/obtuse 2

the Free Dictionary:


Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "obtuseness"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "obtuseness"


Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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