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adjective ob·vi·ous \ˈäb-vē-əs\

Simple Definition of obvious

  • : easy to see or notice

  • : easy for the mind to understand or recognize

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of obvious

  1. 1 archaic :  being in the way or in front

  2. 2 :  easily discovered, seen, or understood

obviousness noun

Examples of obvious in a sentence

  1. Her doctor immediately noticed the obvious signs of the disease.

  2. She saw only the most obvious differences.

  3. It was obvious that things weren't working out.

  4. The answer seems obvious enough to me.

  5. The problem was immediately obvious to everyone in the room.

  6. He was the obvious candidate for president.

  7. The obvious question is: how did he become so successful?

  8. For obvious reasons, I would not like to reveal my name.

Origin of obvious

Latin obvius, from obviam in the way, from ob in the way of + viam, accusative of via way — more at ob-, via

First Known Use: 1603

Synonym Discussion of obvious

evident, manifest, patent, distinct, obvious, apparent, plain, clear mean readily perceived or apprehended. evident implies presence of visible signs that lead one to a definite conclusion <an evident fondness for sweets>. manifest implies an external display so evident that little or no inference is required <manifest hostility>. patent applies to a cause, effect, or significant feature that is clear and unmistakable once attention has been directed to it <patent defects>. distinct implies such sharpness of outline or definition that no unusual effort to see or hear or comprehend is required <a distinct refusal>. obvious implies such ease in discovering that it often suggests conspicuousness or little need for perspicacity in the observer <the obvious solution>. apparent is very close to evident except that it may imply more conscious exercise of inference <for no apparent reason>. plain suggests lack of intricacy, complexity, or elaboration <her feelings about him are plain>. clear implies an absence of anything that confuses the mind or obscures the pattern <a clear explanation>.

OBVIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective ob·vi·ous \ˈäb-vē-əs\

Definition of obvious for Students

  1. :  easily found, seen, or understood <He … held on to me, even after it was obvious that I was not going to fall. — Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons>

obviously adverb
obviousness noun

Law Dictionary


adjective ob·vi·ous

Legal Definition of obvious

  1. :  easily seen, discovered, or understood; specifically :  readily apparent to a person of ordinary skill in a particular art considering the scope and content of the prior art — see also patent

obviousness noun

Additional Notes on obvious

An invention that is found to be obvious cannot be patented.

Seen and Heard

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


expressing little or no emotion

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