adjective ob·nox·ious \ äb-ˈnäk-shəs , əb- \
|Updated on: 11 Aug 2018

Definition of obnoxious

1 archaic : exposed to something unpleasant or harmful used with to
2 archaic : deserving of censure
3 : odiously or disgustingly objectionable : highly offensive





Examples of obnoxious in a Sentence

  1. Let's get right into it. The title of your book, Why We Suck, is pretty obnoxious. Are we really that bad? —Rachel DeahlBoston Globe30 Nov. 2008
  2. "Not to sound obnoxious, but this downturn could be good for us," says Max Levchin, founder and CEO of Slide, in San Francisco. "Some of our competitors are going to go out of business." —Daniel LyonsNewsweek20 Oct. 2008
  3. Now that many large cities are surrounded by Stygian fields of concrete tedium, urban sprawl looks like an obnoxious side effect of prosperity and decline. —Graham RobbThe Discovery of France2007
  4. The teller's eyes widened as a customer poured thousands of pennies onto the counter, an intentionally obnoxious way to pay a high heating bill. —Erik EckholmNew York Times26 June 2006
  5. He said some really obnoxious things about his ex-girlfriend at the party.

  6. Some teenagers were being loud and obnoxious.

Recent Examples of obnoxious from the Web

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

The Lost Meaning of obnoxious

Obnoxious in its oldest sense means “exposed to something unpleasant or harmful.” This meaning is etymologically accurate: obnoxious is derived ultimately from the Latin ob- “exposed to” and noxa “harm.” It has been entirely superseded, however, by the sense “extremely offensive.” Though this sense is by no means new, having been first recorded more than 300 years ago, some commentators in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were displeased about its ascendancy over the etymological meaning. Ambrose Bierce, the author of the satirical Devil’s Dictionary, wrote in his 1909 book Write It Right: “Obnoxious means exposed to evil. A soldier in battle is obnoxious to danger.” Despite these admonitions, obnoxious is nowadays widely used to describe bothersome, rather than perilous, things, and no one questions its correctness.

Origin and Etymology of obnoxious

Latin obnoxius, from ob in the way of, exposed to + noxa harm — more at noxious

OBNOXIOUS Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of obnoxious for English Language Learners

  • : unpleasant in a way that makes people feel offended, annoyed, or disgusted

OBNOXIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective ob·nox·ious \ äb-ˈnäk-shəs , əb- \

Definition of obnoxious for Students

: very disagreeable : hateful
  • Judd had heard the obnoxious whine of the motorcycle every day.
  • —Margo Sorenson, Firewatch



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very hard to disturb or upset

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