AskDefine | Define oblique

Dictionary Definition

oblique adj
1 slanting or inclined in direction or course or position--neither parallel nor perpendicular nor right-angular; "the oblique rays of the winter sun"; "acute and obtuse angles are oblique angles"; "the axis of an oblique cone is not perpendicular to its base" [ant: parallel, perpendicular]
2 indirect in departing from the accepted or proper way; misleading; "used devious means to achieve success"; "gave oblique answers to direct questions"; "oblique political maneuvers" [syn: devious]


1 any grammatical case other than the nominative [syn: oblique case] [ant: nominative]
2 a diagonally arranged abdominal muscle on either side of the torso [syn: external oblique muscle, musculus obliquus externus abdominis, abdominal external oblique muscle]

User Contributed Dictionary



From , oblike, from obliquus



  1. Not erect or perpendicular; neither parallel to, nor at right angles from, the base; slanting; inclined.
    • It has a direction oblique to that of the former motion. - Cheyne.
  2. Not straightforward; indirect; obscure; hence, disingenuous; underhand; perverse; sinister.
    • The love we bear our friends . . . Hath in it certain oblique ends. - Drayton.
    • This mode of oblique research, when a more direct one is denied, we find to be the only one in our power. - De Quincey.
    • Then would be closed the restless, oblique eye. / That looks for evil, like a treacherous spy. - Wordworth.
  3. Not direct in descent; not following the line of father and son; collateral.
    • His natural affection in a direct line was strong, in an oblique but weak. - Baker.
  4. botany of leaves Having the base of the blade asymmetrical, with one side larger or extending further than the other.


  1. To deviate from a perpendicular line; to move in an oblique direction.
    • Projecting his person towards it in a line which obliqued from the bottom of his spine. - Sir. W. Scott.
  2. To march in a direction oblique to the line of the column or platoon; — formerly accomplished by oblique steps, now by direct steps, the men half-facing either to the right or left.

Extensive Definition

Oblique may refer to one of several things:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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