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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does obtuse mean? 

OBTUSE (adjective)
  The adjective OBTUSE has 4 senses:

1. of an angle; between 90 and 180 degrees
2. of a leaf shape; rounded at the apex
3. lacking in insight or discernment
4. slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity

  Familiarity information: OBTUSE used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

OBTUSE (adjective)

Sense 1obtuse [BACK TO TOP]


Of an angle; between 90 and 180 degrees


acute (of an angle; less than 90 degrees)

Sense 2obtuse [BACK TO TOP]


Of a leaf shape; rounded at the apex


simple; unsubdivided ((botany) of leaf shapes; of leaves having no divisions or subdivisions)

Sense 3obtuse [BACK TO TOP]


Lacking in insight or discernment


purblind; obtuse

Context examples:

too obtuse to grasp the implications of his behavior / a purblind oligarchy that flatly refused to see that history was condemning it to the dustbin


undiscerning (lacking discernment)

Sense 4obtuse [BACK TO TOP]


Slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity


dumb; slow; obtuse; dense; dim; dull

Context examples:

so dense he never understands anything I say to him / never met anyone quite so dim / although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick / dumb officials make some really dumb decisions / he was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse / worked with the slow students


stupid (lacking or marked by lack of intellectual acuity)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies." (English proverb)

"It is easier for the son to ask from the father than for the father to ask from the son" (Breton proverb)

"Rudeness knows no sweat of shame." (Arabic proverb)

"The most beautiful laughter comes from the mouth of a mourner." (Corsican proverb)

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