con·spic·u·ous | \ kən-ˈspi-kyə-wəs , -kyü-əs \

Definition of conspicuous 

1 : obvious to the eye or mind conspicuous changes The bird has a conspicuous red head.

2 : attracting attention : striking a conspicuous success His absence was conspicuous.

3 : marked by a noticeable violation of good taste

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Other words from conspicuous

conspicuously adverb
conspicuousness \kən-ˈspi-kyə-wəs-nəs, -kyü-əs- \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for conspicuous

noticeable, remarkable, prominent, outstanding, conspicuous, salient, striking mean attracting notice or attention. noticeable applies to something unlikely to escape observation. a piano recital with no noticeable errors remarkable applies to something so extraordinary or exceptional as to invite comment. a film of remarkable intelligence and wit prominent applies to something commanding notice by standing out from its surroundings or background. a doctor who occupies a prominent position in the town outstanding applies to something that rises above and excels others of the same kind. honored for her outstanding contributions to science conspicuous applies to something that is obvious and unavoidable to the sight or mind. conspicuous bureaucratic waste salient applies to something of significance that merits the attention given it. the salient points of the speech striking applies to something that impresses itself powerfully and deeply upon the observer's mind or vision. the region's striking poverty

Examples of conspicuous in a Sentence

Conspicuous species of large organisms with small populations are vulnerable—and several fishes and marine mammals, including Steller's sea cow, have succumbed. —Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, June 1991 Its most conspicuous feature was knee breeches, which showed off his well-turned legs and feet. —Richard Ellmann, Oscar Wilde, 1984 There were a number of conspicuous changes to the building. The sign was placed in a very conspicuous spot. The bird has a conspicuous red head. She felt very conspicuous in her pink coat. He was uncomfortable about his conspicuous weight gain. The business was a conspicuous success.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Security measures were extensive and conspicuous across the Esplanade and along Storrow Drive, where a long stretch of the usually busy roadway was closed to traffic. Jeremy C. Fox,, "A guide to the festivities: Plan your Fourth of July on the Esplanade," 4 July 2018 The imperative to deflect criticism outward, so conspicuous in the 1980s, no longer applies. The Economist, "The death of the archetypal Russian villain," 28 June 2018 The atmosphere is busy and formal, and as we’re taken to our room, the halls are full of people who appear to be wedding guests, made conspicuous by their fascinators and satin shoes. Jo Rodgers, Vogue, "Old World Meets New at Adare Manor, Ireland’s Just-Renovated Castle Hotel," 4 Apr. 2018 The red-state Democrats who have tried consistently to find points of conspicuous agreement with Mr. Trump, even as their party opposes him overall, reacted with telling caution to the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "For Midterms, Supreme Court Political Drama Plays to Its Audience," 11 July 2018 One player conspicuous by his absence for much of the first half was Neymar., "Brazil 1-2 Belgium: Red Devils Shatter Brazil's Dreams With Clinical Display to Set Up France Clash," 6 July 2018 One player conspicuous by his absence for much of the first half was Neymar. James Taylor, Pro Soccer USA, "Brazil 1-2 Belgium: Red Devils Shatter Brazil’s Dreams With Clinical Display to Set Up France Clash," 6 July 2018 The hybrid technology on display is part conspicuous conservation and part invisible partner. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid Is a Herald of Cars To Come," 14 May 2018 Look for a straight black bill and black legs with conspicuous yellow feet. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "You’ll have no regrets in search for egrets – and herons, too," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conspicuous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conspicuous

circa 1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for conspicuous

Latin conspicuus, from conspicere to get sight of, from com- + specere to look — more at spy

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Phrases Related to conspicuous

conspicuously absent

Statistics for conspicuous

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conspicuous

The first known use of conspicuous was circa 1534

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More Definitions for conspicuous



English Language Learners Definition of conspicuous

: very easy to see or notice

: attracting attention by being great or impressive


con·spic·u·ous | \ kən-ˈspi-kyə-wəs \

Kids Definition of conspicuous

1 : easily seen Put the sign in a conspicuous spot.

2 : attracting attention : prominent I felt conspicuous.

Other words from conspicuous

conspicuously adverb

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Comments on conspicuous

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


an open space surrounded by woods

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