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

There are a few clear trends that unite the diverse collection of suits Jay-Z rocks throughout the video: heavy, rope-y gold chains; plenty of double-breasted jackets; a conspicuous lack of shirts; and heavy doses of color and patterns. Liz Raiss, GQ, "Jay-Z Brought His Entire Suit Collection to the "APES**T" Video," 18 June 2018 Britain’s absence from the next multiannual European spending program is conspicuous because the country is the No. 2 net contributor., "President Trump Speaks at CPAC," 23 Feb. 2018 Yet Putin was conspicuous in his absence at the do-or-die games against Spain and Croatia, sending Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev in his place. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Russia’s World Cup dream ends, on and off the field," 9 July 2018 However, given that the tournament features teams from every corner of the globe you could be forgiven for thinking it a little strange that the United States is conspicuous by its absence. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Why is the U.S. men's national team missing from the 2018 World Cup?," 25 May 2018 For United States fans, the tournament initially spotlights a conspicuous (and embarrassing) reality: the Americans failed to qualify, and – for the first time since 1986 – will be absent from the World Cup. Hayden Bird,, "Your guide to the 2018 World Cup," 11 June 2018 And both have been far less conspicuous than in past election cycles, but for different reasons: Mrs. Clinton faces distrust on the left, where she is seen as an avatar of the Democratic establishment, and raw enmity on the right. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Hillary and Bill Clinton Go Separate Ways for 2018 Midterm Elections," 21 May 2018 And the Urus will no doubt consume conspicuous quantities of fuel, but see the bigger picture: the environmental impact of a year's worth of Uruses will be negligible compared to, say, full-size trucks. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "If you can’t beat them… Lamborghini joins the SUV set," 17 Jan. 2018 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

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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Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for conspicuous

The first known use of conspicuous was circa 1534

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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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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