ob·​tru·​sive əb-ˈtrü-siv How to pronounce obtrusive (audio)
: forward in manner or conduct
obtrusive behavior
The waiter was attentive without being obtrusive.
: undesirably prominent
obtrusive TV commercials
: thrust out : protruding
a sharp obtrusive edge
obtrusively adverb
obtrusiveness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for obtrusive

impertinent, officious, meddlesome, intrusive, obtrusive mean given to thrusting oneself into the affairs of others.

impertinent implies exceeding the bounds of propriety in showing interest or curiosity or in offering advice.

resented their impertinent interference

officious implies the offering of services or attentions that are unwelcome or annoying.

officious friends made the job harder

meddlesome stresses an annoying and usually prying interference in others' affairs.

a meddlesome landlord

intrusive implies a tactless or otherwise objectionable thrusting into others' affairs.

tried to be helpful without being intrusive

obtrusive stresses improper or offensive conspicuousness of interfering actions.

expressed an obtrusive concern for his safety

Examples of obtrusive in a Sentence

The waiter was attentive without being obtrusive. We used less obtrusive colors in the bedrooms.
Recent Examples on the Web Does the arch of the shoe feel supportive or obtrusive? Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, 15 Aug. 2023 Those with a preference for something more contemplatively formless will find the available structuring to be obtrusive, with the moments of over-explaining and narrativizing rendering the snapshots almost confusing. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 July 2023 Perhaps your school would have done better by being less obtrusive. Miss Manners | Judith Martin, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Aug. 2023 Unlike obtrusive solar arrays that clutter many neighborhoods, the newest panels are integrated with the architecture, such as vertical fins that double as architectural features. Dirk Sutro, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Aug. 2023 Water Wise Plant Choices In addition to the vertical edible garden, a breezy, less obtrusive collection of drought-tolerant grasses and succulents took the place of the overgrown tropical plants that once hid the house. Miranda Crowell, Better Homes & Gardens, 9 Aug. 2023 Mojo Vision has since canceled the contact lens, pivoting to microLED displays for next-generation AR devices that are smaller, lighter, and less obtrusive than Apple’s new Vision Pro. IEEE Spectrum, 30 June 2023 However, the design overall is fairly sleek and simple, with no obtrusive branding to spoil the look of your home. Tanya Edwards, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 June 2023 The base is solid, but the components aren't obtrusive. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 3 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'obtrusive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of obtrusive was in 1667

Dictionary Entries Near obtrusive

Cite this Entry

“Obtrusive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obtrusive. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ob·​tru·​sive əb-ˈtrü-siv How to pronounce obtrusive (audio)
: likely to obtrude
obtrusively adverb
obtrusiveness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on obtrusive

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