obviate

To obviate means to eliminate the need for something or to prevent something from happening. If you want to obviate the possibility of a roach infestation, clean your kitchen regularly.

The prefix ob means "to go against." That makes sense when you look at the words obstruct and obstacle, but how about obstetrics? Why does the name of the branch of medicine dealing with birth have the same root as words that mean "stop" or "get in the way"? Because a midwife stands opposite to, or against, the woman giving birth.

Definitions of obviate
  1. verb
    do away with
    synonyms: eliminate, rid of
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    Antonyms:
    ask, call for, demand, involve, necessitate, need, postulate, require, take
    require as useful, just, or proper
    claim, exact, take
    take as an undesirable consequence of some event or state of affairs
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    types:
    close out, preclude, rule out
    make impossible, especially beforehand
  2. verb
    prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening
    synonyms: avert, avoid, debar, deflect, fend off, forefend, forfend, head off, stave off, ward off
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    type of:
    forbid, foreclose, forestall, preclude, preempt, prevent
    keep from happening or arising; make impossible
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