o·blique (ō-blēk, ə-blēk)
a. Having a slanting or sloping direction, course, or position; inclined.
b. Mathematics Designating geometric lines or planes that are neither parallel nor perpendicular.
2. Botany Having the part on one side of the midrib of a different size or shape than the part on the other side. Used of a leaf.
3. Anatomy Situated in a slanting position; not transverse or longitudinal: oblique muscles or ligaments.
a. Indirect or evasive: oblique political maneuvers.
b. Devious, misleading, or dishonest: gave oblique answers to the questions.
5. Not direct in descent; collateral.
6. Grammar Designating any noun case except the nominative or the vocative.
An oblique thing, such as a line, direction, or muscle.
adv. (ō-blīk, ə-blīk)
At an angle of 45°.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin oblīquus.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.