obituary (n.) 1706, "register of deaths," from M.L. obituarius "a record of the death of a person," lit. "pertaining to death," from L. obitus "departure, a going to meet, encounter" (a euphemism for "death"), from stem of obire "go toward, go to meet" (as in mortem obire "meet death"), from ob "to, toward" (see OB- (Cf. ob-)) + ire "to go" (see ION (Cf. ion)). Meaning "record or announcement of a death, especially in a newspaper, and including a brief biographical sketch" is from 1738. As an adjective from 1828. A similar euphemism is in Old English cognate forðfaran "to die," lit. "to go forth."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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