ob·​nox·​ious äb-ˈnäk-shəs How to pronounce obnoxious (audio)
: odiously or disgustingly objectionable : highly offensive
archaic : exposed to something unpleasant or harmful
used with to
archaic : deserving of censure
obnoxiously adverb
obnoxiousness noun

Examples of obnoxious in a Sentence

Let's get right into it. The title of your book, Why We Suck, is pretty obnoxious. Are we really that bad? Rachel Deahl, Boston Globe, 30 Nov. 2008
"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 Lyons, Newsweek, 20 Oct. 2008
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 Robb, The Discovery of France, 2007
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 Eckholm, New York Times, 26 June 2006
He said some really obnoxious things about his ex-girlfriend at the party. Some teenagers were being loud and obnoxious. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Ken Jeong’s waking up from cryogenic freeze was basically another exercise in loud and obnoxious, with too-fleeting moments of clever. Brian Lowry, CNN, 11 Feb. 2024 Keith further solidified his reputation — an outspoken patriot to some, an obnoxious blowhard to others — by way of a public dispute with Natalie Maines of the then- Dixie Chicks. Nadine Smith, Rolling Stone, 6 Feb. 2024 Sight-casting toward fish using loud, obnoxious top-water offerings can often elicit an explosive strike. Jordan Rodriguez, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 His neighbors are obnoxious; not renting is more efficient; good land is cheap. Nick Romeo, The New Yorker, 16 Jan. 2024 That means that in many instances, people are free to say and write deeply offensive, cruel and obnoxious things filled with racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic or misogynistic content without being charged with a crime. Douglas S. Lavine, Hartford Courant, 6 Jan. 2024 Two such obnoxious bills, HB 395 and SB 1122, are pending in Tallahassee. Sun Sentinel Editorial Board, Sun Sentinel, 2 Jan. 2024 This person spent the entire vacation stating her obnoxious political views. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2023 Haley takes fire and Christie calls Ramaswamy an ‘obnoxious blowhard’ in GOP debate A few things were clear after last night’s Republican debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the four remaining candidates battled for voters’ attention. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 7 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'obnoxious.' 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 obnoxius "under obligation, subservient, liable, exposed to, vulnerable" (of uncertain origin) + -ous

Note: Latin obnoxius has traditionally been taken to be a parasynthetic derivative from the phrase ob noxiam "due to wrongdoing, on account of bad behavior" (see noxious), but this explanation does not account for the primary senses of the word. Ernout and Meillet (Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine) take -noxius as a desiderative derivative from the base of nancīscī "to acquire" (see enough entry 1), parallel to anxius "worried"/angere "to strangle, distress" (see anxious), alsius "liable to injury from cold"/algēre "to be cold." The English sense "objectionable" is probably due to influence of noxious and its etymon, Latin noxius.

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of obnoxious was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near obnoxious

Cite this Entry

“Obnoxious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obnoxious. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


ob·​nox·​ious äb-ˈnäk-shəs How to pronounce obnoxious (audio)
: very disagreeable or offensive
obnoxiously adverb
obnoxiousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on obnoxious

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!