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 That’s the most obvious and unresolved or unreleased news. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "What new SEC schedule means for Alabama, questions that remain," 30 July 2020 With Covid-19, the most obvious moralization conflates hygiene, social distancing, and race. Joseph Osmundson, The New Republic, "Covid-19 and the Limits of American Moral Reasoning," 30 July 2020 Fixating on the most obvious and immediately apparent quarterly numbers can provide a temporary boost, sure. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "What getting hacked will cost you ($3.86 million, approximately)," 29 July 2020 The most obvious benefit to being a Nordstrom cardmember is getting early access to all of the great deals during the annual Anniversary Sale. Samantha Matt, USA TODAY, "The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is coming—here are the best deals you can expect," 29 July 2020 One of the lessons from the history of epidemiology is, first of all, there are things that in hindsight seem completely obvious. Gregory Barber, Wired, "A Mathematician’s Guide to How Contagion Spreads," 7 July 2020 In some states, the most obvious measure to take in order to discourage the spread of the virus was to close bars or ban alcohol sales. Fox News, "How Fourth of July in 2020 will be unlike any other: no beach, no booze, no BBQ," 4 July 2020 Some may seem more obvious, like a strong financial position or lots of extra time, while others may seem far-fetched, like web design or landscaping. Lynn Saladino, Health.com, "How to Manage Disappointment and Anger During COVID-19, According to a Psychologist," 29 June 2020 That might seem obvious, given the May increase in U.S. jobs, which economists attributed to both relaxed business restrictions in some states and government payments to companies that rehired workers. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Evidence Grows of Lockdowns’ Toll on Employment," 5 June 2020

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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Statistics for obvious

Last Updated

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Obvious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obvious. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for obvious

obvious

adjective
How to pronounce obvious (audio)

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

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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

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