obvious

adjective
ob·​vi·​ous | \ ˈäb-vē-əs How to pronounce obvious (audio) \

Definition of obvious

1 : easily discovered, seen, or understood It was obvious that things weren't working out. She stayed for obvious reasons.
2 archaic : being in the way or in front

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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 To him, the need for a new type of library for that new publishing system, the internet, was obvious. Chase Difeliciantonio, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Sep. 2021 Meghan and Harry haven’t spent much time with the royal family in the past year, for reasons that should seem obvious to anyone paying attention to them. Marie Claire Editors, Marie Claire, 5 Sep. 2021 Some are obvious, like the sleek water tumblers, menus perched on stands (for ease of cleaning) and a table for eight near the front window that feels private but takes in the sweep of the restaurant. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 The benefits Tottenham Hotspur get from having a training wear sponsor are obvious. Zak Garner-purkis, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 The benefits of male plumage might seem obvious, but being overly ornamental can be risky, reports Katherine J. Wu for the Atlantic. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Sep. 2021 Aside from the institutions and individuals defrauded, the social harm is obvious. Wesley Oliver, Quartz, 2 Sep. 2021 The difference in the thickness and definition seemed obvious, even if Porter didn't have tangible evidence. Devon Abelman, Allure, 31 Aug. 2021 Some of these tactics seem obvious, Meltzoff admits. al, 25 Aug. 2021

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 1

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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Time Traveler for obvious

Time Traveler

The first known use of obvious was in 1583

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Dictionary Entries Near obvious

obviative

obvious

obviously

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Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obvious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obvious. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce obvious (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on obvious

Nglish: Translation of obvious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obvious for Arabic Speakers

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