1. no longer in general use; fallen into disuse: an obsolete expression.
  2. of a discarded or outmoded type; out of date: an obsolete battleship.
  3. (of a linguistic form) no longer in use, especially, out of use for at least the past century.Compare archaic.
  4. effaced by wearing down or away.
  5. Biology. imperfectly developed or rudimentary in comparison with the corresponding character in other individuals, as of the opposite sex or of a related species.

verb (used with object), ob·so·let·ed, ob·so·let·ing.

  1. to make obsolete by replacing with something newer or better; antiquate: Automation has obsoleted many factory workers.


  1. out of use or practice; not current
  2. out of date; unfashionable or outmoded
  3. biology (of parts, organs, etc) vestigial; rudimentary

adj.1570s, from Latin obsoletus “grown old, worn out,” past participle of obsolescere “fall into disuse,” probably from ob “away” (see ob-) + an expanded form of solere “to be used to, be accustomed” (see insolent).

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