ob·​nox·​ious | \ äb-ˈnäk-shəs How to pronounce obnoxious (audio) , əb-\

Definition of obnoxious

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

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Other Words from obnoxious

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

With nothing left to do, Michael gets back into his vehicle and drives off, the obnoxious flag waving in the background. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Black Family Dismisses White Contractor With Confederate Flag Flying From His Truck," 3 July 2019 The president wasn’t even able to revoke White House credentials from an obnoxious and disruptive reporter. WSJ, "Trump, Treason, the Times and a Free Press," 23 June 2019 Six years of playing this dear little family who started out possibly obnoxious and to grow together as a real family, that's been a joyful thing. Scott Huver, The Hollywood Reporter, "Debra Messing, Yara Shahidi, Gina Rodriguez and 9 Comedy Actresses Reveal of Strengths of Their Comedic Partnerships," 7 June 2019 The move to extract one of the world’s most high-profile fugitives came about relatively quickly after years of what officials portrayed as obnoxious and ungracious behavior by their houseguest. Joshua Goodman, The Seattle Times, "After 7 long years, Assange’s capture happened quickly," 16 Apr. 2019 Holbrooke was maddening and obnoxious, but somehow his methods often worked. Rosa Brooks, chicagotribune.com, "An elegy for American diplomacy," 21 May 2018 Enter Jake Gyllenhaal’s Morf Vandewalt (even his name is pretentious), the pompous, obnoxious art critic who has the power to manipulate the art world conversation for his own gain, making and breaking the careers of artists and dealers with glee. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "Netflix's Velvet Buzzsaw Shouldn't Work—But It (Mostly) Does," 3 Feb. 2019 The episode also introduces Sean Astin and Kal Penn as physicists who could make or break Shamy's Nobel prize hopes, though the Muppet's Statler and Waldorf, two cranky obnoxious dudes, could have easily played the same parts. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory Had the Most Touching Scene Between Sheldon and Amy Yet," 17 Jan. 2019 Bill Campbell's Ash is extra hammy as the obnoxious chainsaw-for-a-hand anti-hero battling demons while stuck in King Arthur’s court. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The Best Horror Movies That Aren't Too Scary," 29 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of obnoxious

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for obnoxious

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.

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Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for obnoxious

The first known use of obnoxious was in 1597

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English Language Learners Definition of obnoxious

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


ob·​nox·​ious | \ äb-ˈnäk-shəs How to pronounce obnoxious (audio) , əb-\

Kids Definition of obnoxious

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

Other Words from obnoxious

obnoxiously adverb

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