The historical meaning of oblivious is ‘forgetful, unmindful’, followed by of:

• Never before…has a great painter been completely oblivious of the style, or styles, of his time —Kenneth Clark, 1949.

This meaning survives, but another meaning, ‘unaware of, unconscious of’, which evolved during the 19c, is now more common, despite objections to it raised by Fowler (1926) and earlier by the OED editors, who labelled it ‘erroneous’; this was changed to ‘formerly regarded as erroneous’ in OED2, and the current online text reads ‘now the usual sense’. In this meaning it is followed by of or (more often) to:

• I stayed indoors all day for several days, oblivious to the damp heat of Falmouth —C. Day Lewis, 1960.

Modern English usage. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oblivious — Single par Kalafina extrait de l’album Seventh Heaven Face A Oblivious Face B Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku Sortie 23 janvier 2008 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Oblivious — Ob*liv i*ous, a. [L. obliviosus: cf. F. oblivieux.] [1913 Webster] 1. Promoting oblivion; causing forgetfulness. The oblivious pool. Milton. [1913 Webster] She lay in deep, oblivious slumber. Longfellow. [1913 Webster] 2. Evincing oblivion;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oblivious — I adjective absent, absentminded, absorbed, abstracted, blank, careless, distracted, dreamy, faraway, forgetful, heedless, immemor, inattentive, inconsiderate, indifferent, insensible, mindless, neglectful, negligent, obliviosus, overlooking,… …   Law dictionary

  • oblivious — (adj.) mid 15c., from L. obliviosus forgetful, producing forgetfulness, from oblivionem (see OBLIVION (Cf. oblivion)). Meaning unaware, unconscious (of something) is from 1862, formerly regarded as erroneous, this is now the general meaning and… …   Etymology dictionary

  • oblivious — *forgetful, unmindful Analogous words: disregarding, ignoring, forgetting, neglecting, overlooking (see NEGLECT vb) Contrasted words: *aware, conscious, cognizant: *thoughtful, attentive, considerate: alert, vigilant, *watchful …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • oblivious — [adj] unaware, ignorant absent, absentminded, absorbed, abstracted, amnesic, blind*, blundering, careless, deaf*, disregardful, distracted, dreamy, forgetful, forgetting, gone, heedless, inattentive, incognizant, inconversant, insensible,… …   New thesaurus

  • oblivious — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ not aware of what is happening around one. DERIVATIVES obliviously adverb obliviousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • oblivious — [ə bliv′ē əs] adj. [ME obliuyous < L obliviosus < oblivio; see OBLIVION] 1. a) forgetful: usually with of b) unaware or indifferent: usually with of or, esp., to 2. causing forgetfulness obliviously adv. obliviousness …   English World dictionary

  • Oblivious — This article is about a game show. For the state of being unaware, see Oblivion (disambiguation). Oblivious Format Prank show Created by mast media Starring …   Wikipedia

  • oblivious — adj. VERBS ▪ appear, be, seem ▪ Karen appeared oblivious to the uproar. ▪ become ▪ remain ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”