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I think he was being deliberately obtuse.
This is the American English definition of obtuse. View British English definition of obtuse.
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View the pronunciation for obtuse.
English version of definition of obtuse
the design of buildings or public spaces in a way which discourages people from touching, climbing or sitting on them …
the system of trade unions, or the principles on which trade unions are based
a situation in which a country's armed forces are physically present in an area of conflict …
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American definition of obtuse from the online English dictionary from Macmillan Publishers Limited.