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

With her background as a working Hollywood actress, Markle is the natural, and obvious, choice to represent the National Theater on a global stage. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s New Royal Responsibilities Are a Perfect Fit," 10 Jan. 2019 To state the obvious, that is more money than the $5 billion Trump insisted on. Dara Lind, Vox, "Slats, fences, and wall, explained: what exactly the shutdown fight is about," 21 Dec. 2018 Herein lies a step-by-step guide to looking great on Instagram: Acknowledge the Awkwardness Let’s start by stating the obvious: posing for a photo is AWKWARD AF. Elizabeth Holmes, Marie Claire, "What Do I Do With My Hands In Photos? And Other Important Questions, Answered," 12 Dec. 2018 On the surface, the reasons for the backlash were obvious, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Russian interference more generally. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Amazon is a ‘bully,’ and Facebook and Google are ‘the enemies of independent thought’," 3 Dec. 2018 Lastly, and perhaps the most obvious, is good lighting. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "This Hotel Room Was Designed To Look Good On Instagram," 8 Nov. 2018 But some of the most important details weren't so obvious: Midge will not be stuck at the Gaslight cafe forever. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The New 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Trailer Has So Many Hidden Clues About Season 2," 10 Aug. 2018 The answers included the obvious: Tom Brady, Barry Sanders, etc. Jenny Vrentas, SI.com, "For Many NFL Players, Summer Doesn't Bring Much of a Break," 9 July 2018 Problems created by inefficient work processes, poor interdepartmental coordination and annoying cell phone interruptions may be quite obvious to employees. Marie G. Mcintyre, The Seattle Times, "Struggling in the chaotic, stressful health-care workplace," 21 Nov. 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

15 Jan 2019

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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