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
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.
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 It has been entirely superseded, however, by the sense “extremely offensive.”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
First Known Use: 1597
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
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