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.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The most obvious explanation is Vukmir’s career as a state legislator from the Milwaukee suburbs, her profile on Milwaukee talk radio and her formal and informal backing by much of the party leadership, which is concentrated in southeast Wisconsin. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "GOP senate primary in Wisconsin already reflects north-south divide within party," 13 July 2018 Financial and economic vulnerability is the most obvious one. The Economist, "In its trade war with America, China dials down the hype," 12 July 2018 These were the sounds that launched the improbable story of impossible odds involving a newborn elk that would earn a most obvious name. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Born of tragedy, newborn elk triumphs thanks to kindness of strangers," 12 July 2018 First, the obvious: Kiari, a direct nod to Offset’s legal name of Kiari Kendrell Cephus (the duo even have the same initials!). PEOPLE.com, "Kulture Kiari: The Personal Meaning Behind Cardi B and Offset's Newborn Daughter's Name," 12 July 2018 The most obvious form of Camille’s's self-cruelty is her lifetime of self-harm, which becomes a visceral anchor for the series. refinery29.com, "Sharp Objects Review: It’s Exactly What You Need During The Big Little Lies Drought," 5 July 2018 The most obvious implication of the looming Supreme Court vacancy is that Roe's days are numbered, but this is not the only issue that Justice Kennedy's abdication has placed in the balance. Jay Willis, GQ, "The Trump Administration Is Hell-Bent on Ending Affirmative Action," 3 July 2018 But though the five were the most obvious casualties, those attending the vigil were careful to acknowledge that the people who survived the attack also suffered perhaps irreparable damage. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Mourners gather at vigil for victims of Capital Gazette shooting," 30 June 2018 Curry's most obvious offense is being married to Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry. Thomas Leavy, CBS News, "Ayesha Curry's restaurant slammed by Rockets fans on Yelp before it even opens," 21 June 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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near obvious

obviable

obviate

obviative

obvious

obviously

obvolute

obvolve

Statistics for obvious

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obvious

The first known use of obvious was in 1583

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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

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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

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