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adjective ap·par·ent \ə-ˈper-ənt, -ˈpa-rənt\

Simple Definition of apparent

  • : easy to see or understand

  • : seeming to be true but possibly not true

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of apparent

  1. 1 :  open to view :  visible

  2. 2 :  clear or manifest to the understanding <reasons that are readily apparent>

  3. 3 :  appearing as actual to the eye or mind

  4. 4 :  having an indefeasible right to succeed to a title or estate

  5. 5 :  manifest to the senses or mind as real or true on the basis of evidence that may or may not be factually valid <the air of spontaneity is perhaps more apparent than real — J. R. Sutherland>

apparentness play \-nəs\ noun

Examples of apparent in a sentence

  1. “Reborn” is overwhelmingly a record of an inner landscape, and so there is little sense of the times—no mention of civil-rights demonstrations, no arguments about Cuba. Sontag barely even let her journal know that she was at work on a novel, although the effects of that undertaking are perhaps apparent in the increasingly aphoristic style of her pages. —Darryl Pinckney, New Yorker, 22 & 29 Dec. 2008

  2. He believes that the key to memory, despite its apparent complexities, will eventually prove to be simple: a single molecule. He may be right. —Michael Greenberg, New York Review of Books, 4 Dec. 2008,

  3. Since last fall, beekeepers in at least 35 states have reported colonies that shrank rapidly for no apparent reason. Adult bees just go missing, leaving behind young bees in need of tending. —Susan Milius, Science News, 28 July 2007

  4. The Internal Revenue Service last week suggested that between 1 million and 2 million Americans have overseas bank accounts that issued them credit or debit cards-the apparent purpose being to evade U.S. taxes. —Robert J. Samuelson, Newsweek, 8 Apr. 2002

  5. From the beginning, it was apparent that she was not an ordinary child.

  6. He started yelling and throwing things for no apparent reason.

  7. We disagreed on the apparent meaning of the movie.

  8. What was the apparent cause of the accident?

Origin of apparent

Middle English, from Anglo-French apparant, from Latin apparent-, apparens, present participle of apparēre to appear

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of apparent

apparent, illusory, seeming, ostensible mean not actually being what appearance indicates. apparent suggests appearance to unaided senses that may or may not be borne out by more rigorous examination or greater knowledge <the apparent cause of the accident>. illusory implies a false impression based on deceptive resemblance or faulty observation, or influenced by emotions that prevent a clear view <an illusory sense of security>. seeming implies a character in the thing observed that gives it the appearance, sometimes through intent, of something else <the seeming simplicity of the story>. ostensible suggests a discrepancy between an openly declared or naturally implied aim or reason and the true one <the ostensible reason for their visit>.

synonyms see in addition evident

APPARENT Defined for Kids


adjective ap·par·ent \ə-ˈper-ənt\

Definition of apparent for Students

  1. 1 :  clear to the understanding :  evident <It was apparent that we could not win.>

  2. 2 :  open to view :  visible <On a clear night many stars are apparent.>

  3. 3 :  appearing to be real or true <The apparent theft of my lunch made me angry.>

apparently adverb

Medical Dictionary


adjective ap·par·ent \ə-ˈpar-ənt, -ˈper-\

Medical Definition of apparent

  1. 1:  clear or manifest to the senses <no apparent cause for the condition>

  2. 2:  manifest to the senses or mind as real or true on the basis of evidence that may or may not be valid upon deeper investigation <the apparent stimulating action of a sedative drug may actually result from its depressant effect—D. W. Maurer & V. H. Vogel>

Law Dictionary


adjective ap·par·ent

Legal Definition of apparent

  1. 1 :  capable of being easily seen, perceived, or discovered <apparent defects> <apparent ambiguity>

  2. 2 :  having a right to succeed to a title or estate that cannot be defeated

  3. 3 :  appearing to one's senses and especially one's vision or to one's understanding as real or true on the basis of evidence that may or may not be correct or factual <an apparent ability to cause injury> <the apparent scope of the agent's authority>

apparently adverb

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up apparent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of perception or understanding

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