con·​spic·​u·​ous kən-ˈspi-kyə-wəs How to pronounce conspicuous (audio)
: obvious to the eye or mind
conspicuous changes
The bird has a conspicuous red head.
: attracting attention : striking
a conspicuous success
His absence was conspicuous.
: marked by a noticeable violation of good taste
conspicuously adverb
conspicuousness 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web And Wood was known as the bluest of the bunch - conspicuous for decorating her classroom with posters of Malcom X, Ruth Bader Ginsburg quotes and LGBTQ pride stickers. Hannah Natanson, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Sep. 2023 The great irony of roadkill is this: Its most conspicuous victims tend to be those least in need of saving. Ben Goldfarb, The Atlantic, 7 Sep. 2023 Starting in November, just under a year before the US presidential election, Google said in an update to its political content policy affecting YouTube and other services that disclosure of AI to alter images must be clear and conspicuous and be located somewhere that users are likely to notice it., 7 Sep. 2023 Starting in November, just under a year before Election Day, Google said in an update to its political content policy that disclosure of AI to alter images must be clear and conspicuous and be located somewhere that users are likely to notice it. Michelle Chapman, Fortune, 7 Sep. 2023 Churchill Downs and tracks owned by the parent company are conspicuous in their refusal to make its statistics public. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2023 Qin’s absence was made all the more conspicuous by the flurry of diplomatic activity in the Chinese capital in recent weeks, including high-profile visits by senior US officials Janet Yellen and John Kerry. Nectar Gan, CNN, 17 July 2023 Beyond this most conspicuous missing form of escalation, there are other realms in which various parties have shown restraint—for instance, in the scope of NATO’s surveillance flights or in the details of Russian operations in the Black Sea. Austin Carson, Foreign Affairs, 14 Sep. 2023 The texture is good, with a few noticeable ice crystals here and there, and conspicuous, pleasant creaminess. Lucas Kwan Peterson, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conspicuous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of conspicuous was circa 1534

Dictionary Entries Near conspicuous

Cite this Entry

“Conspicuous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​spic·​u·​ous kən-ˈspik-yə-wəs How to pronounce conspicuous (audio)
: easily seen
: attracting attention : striking
conspicuously adverb
conspicuousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on conspicuous

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!