1. the state of being completely forgotten or unknown: a former movie star now in oblivion.
  2. the state of forgetting or of being oblivious: the oblivion of sleep.
  3. the act or process of dying out; complete annihilation or extinction: If we don’t preserve their habitat, the entire species will pass into oblivion.
  4. Archaic. official disregard or overlooking of offenses; pardon; amnesty.


  1. the condition of being forgotten or disregarded
  2. the state of being mentally withdrawn or blank
  3. law an intentional overlooking, esp of political offences; amnesty; pardon

n.late 14c., “state or fact of forgetting,” from Old French oblivion (13c.) and directly from Latin oblivionem (nominative oblivio) “forgetfulness; a being forgotten,” from oblivisci (past participle oblitus) “forget,” originally “even out, smooth over, efface,” from ob “over” (see ob-) + root of levis “smooth,” from PIE *lei-w-, from root *(s)lei- “slime, slimy, sticky” (see slime (n.)). Meaning “state of being forgotten” is early 15c.

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