obvious

adjective
ob·vi·ous | \ ˈäb-vē-əs \

Definition of obvious 

1 archaic : being in the way or in front

2 : easily discovered, seen, or understood It was obvious that things weren't working out. She stayed for obvious reasons.

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from obvious

obviousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for obvious

evident, manifest, patent, distinct, obvious, apparent, plain, clear mean readily perceived or apprehended. evident implies presence of visible signs that lead one to a definite conclusion. an evident fondness for sweets manifest implies an external display so evident that little or no inference is required. manifest hostility patent applies to a cause, effect, or significant feature that is clear and unmistakable once attention has been directed to it. patent defects distinct implies such sharpness of outline or definition that no unusual effort to see or hear or comprehend is required. a distinct refusal obvious implies such ease in discovering that it often suggests conspicuousness or little need for perspicacity in the observer. the obvious solution apparent is very close to evident except that it may imply more conscious exercise of inference. for no apparent reason plain suggests lack of intricacy, complexity, or elaboration. her feelings about him are plain clear implies an absence of anything that confuses the mind or obscures the pattern. a clear explanation

Examples of obvious in a Sentence

Her doctor immediately noticed the obvious signs of the disease. She saw only the most obvious differences. It was obvious that things weren't working out. The answer seems obvious enough to me. The problem was immediately obvious to everyone in the room. He was the obvious candidate for president. The obvious question is: how did he become so successful? For obvious reasons, I would not like to reveal my name.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The most obvious hurdle is that installing light-sensitive proteins into cells requires genetic engineering. Justin Chen, STAT, "Pulses of light restored hearing in gerbils. Could that lead to higher-tech cochlear implants?," 11 July 2018 This news begs the obvious question: How will the show deal with Roseanne's departure? Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Fans Have a Lot of Theories on How ABC's 'The Conners' Is Going to Write Off Roseanne Barr," 22 June 2018 Which leads us to the most obvious aspect of l’Affaire Bee, one that the pearl-clutchers seem to be overlooking. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "What’s So Bad About the C-Word?," 5 June 2018 The model and social media genius took to Twitter to point out the logistical flaws in Trump's plan, since the moral and ethical flaws are more than obvious. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen Slammed Trump for His Recent Elizabeth Warren and #MeToo Comments," 7 July 2018 To state the obvious, these are multinational corporations, with an ultimate interest in their bottom lines. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Death of the Public Square," 6 July 2018 One of the more obvious is a big milestone celebrated this week from Darlington and Havre de Grace to Joppatowne and Kingsville to Bel Air – the Fourth of July, more accurately our nation’s independence. The Aegis, "Our next generation [Editorial]," 6 July 2018 The young man protests that is a statement of the obvious, but Roger insists that there is a precise moment in your life when this recognition of imminence seeps into your bones, and then cannot be shaken off ever again. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago-set 'Support Group for Men' a chance to laugh at our current #MeToo moment," 2 July 2018 Technically, white clothing was supposed to be both a little more breathable and less hot than other colors; presumably, players would sweat less in their whites — and their perspiration would be not be quite so obvious, thanks to the light color. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Why Wimbledon Players Have to Wear All White," 2 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of obvious

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for obvious

Latin obvius, from obviam in the way, from ob in the way of + viam, accusative of via way — more at ob-, via

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about obvious

Dictionary Entries near obvious

obviable

obviate

obviative

obvious

obviously

obvolute

obvolve

Phrases Related to obvious

state the obvious

the obvious

Statistics for obvious

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obvious

The first known use of obvious was in 1583

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for obvious

obvious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of obvious

: easy to see or notice

: easy for the mind to understand or recognize

obvious

adjective
ob·vi·ous | \ ˈäb-vē-əs \

Kids Definition of obvious

: easily found, seen, or understood He … held on to me, even after it was obvious that I was not going to fall. —Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons

Other words from obvious

obviously adverb
obviousness noun

obvious

adjective
ob·vi·ous

Legal Definition of obvious 

: easily seen, discovered, or understood specifically : readily apparent to a person of ordinary skill in a particular art considering the scope and content of the prior art — see also patent

Note: An invention that is found to be obvious cannot be patented.

Other words from obvious

obviousness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on obvious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obvious

Spanish Central: Translation of obvious

Nglish: Translation of obvious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obvious for Arabic Speakers

Comments on obvious

What made you want to look up obvious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!