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) Oblique angle, Oblique ascension, etc. See Angle,Ascension, etc. Oblique arch, that part of the curtain whence the fire of the opposite bastion may be discovered. Oblique leaf.

<botany> A system in which the coordinate axes are oblique to each other.

Origin: F, fr. L. Obliquus; ob (see Ob-) + liquis oblique; cf. Licinus bent upward, Gr slanting

Alternative forms: oblike.

<geometry> An oblique line.

(01 Mar 1998)

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