prom·​i·​nent ˈprä-mə-nənt How to pronounce prominent (audio)
: standing out or projecting beyond a surface or line : protuberant
: readily noticeable : conspicuous
: widely and popularly known : leading
prominently adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for prominent

noticeable, remarkable, prominent, outstanding, conspicuous, salient, striking mean attracting notice or attention.

noticeable applies to something unlikely to escape observation.

a piano recital with no noticeable errors

remarkable applies to something so extraordinary or exceptional as to invite comment.

a film of remarkable intelligence and wit

prominent applies to something commanding notice by standing out from its surroundings or background.

a doctor who occupies a prominent position in the town

outstanding applies to something that rises above and excels others of the same kind.

honored for her outstanding contributions to science

conspicuous applies to something that is obvious and unavoidable to the sight or mind.

conspicuous bureaucratic waste

salient applies to something of significance that merits the attention given it.

the salient points of the speech

striking applies to something that impresses itself powerfully and deeply upon the observer's mind or vision.

the region's striking poverty

Examples of prominent in a Sentence

… and a small precise mouth he kept pursed over teeth a shade too prominent and yellow. John Updike, The Afterlife, 1994
When the easy way out seemed to be for a number of prominent men to support a petition to get Davis a pardon, which, if granted, would get the President and others off the hook, Davis was determined to let them hang there. Robert Penn Warren, Jefferson Davis Gets His Citizenship Back, 1980
His eyes, which tended to bulge when he was exercised, were not quite prominent. E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime, 1974
I don't mind his calling me raw. He is reckoned raw himself and at the same time perhaps the most prominent of the younger poets here. Robert Frost, letter, c. 16 June 1913
He quickly became prominent in the music industry. He placed the award in a prominent position on his desk. He has a prominent nose. the most prominent peak in the mountain range See More
Recent Examples on the Web Two other prominent scholars — conservative former judge J. Michael Luttig and liberal law professor Laurence H. Tribe — made the same case in The Atlantic. Maggie Astor,, 18 Sep. 2023 If Cooper had been inactive, Elijah Moore would’ve played a more prominent role, and Donovan Peoples-Jones and others would’ve picked up the slack. cleveland, 18 Sep. 2023 Propaganda plays heavily into how gifts from South Koreans are displayed, with the large-screen television set from former President Kim Dae Jung, who engaged Pyongyang with peace policies, receiving prominent showing. Reuters, NBC News, 18 Sep. 2023 He was survived by four children, five grandchildren and the fond memories of prominent members of the tennis community. Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2023 After one term in the State Senate, Paxton was elected Texas’s top lawyer at a time when attorneys general were playing a newly prominent, and partisan, role in national politics. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 17 Sep. 2023 Wonder Land: As if Trump-Biden weren’t enough, two of the U.S.’s most prominent CEOs may actually duke it out. Dennis Kneale, WSJ, 17 Sep. 2023 In addition to regular therapy visits, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and antianxiety meds play a huge role in keeping extreme mood swings—bipolar disorder’s most prominent symptom—from messing with your life too much. Julia Ries, SELF, 14 Sep. 2023 The latest Hot 100 also marks another milestone for country, in what has been an especially prominent year for the genre, as 20 country songs place in Hot 100’s top 40 for the first time. Xander Zellner, Billboard, 5 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prominent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English promynent, borrowed from Latin prōminent-, prōminens "projecting, standing out," from present participle of prōminēre "to project beyond a surface, stick out, stick up," from prō- pro- entry 2 + -minēre, taken to mean "stand out, rise above" (unattested without a prefix) — more at minatory

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prominent was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near prominent

Cite this Entry

“Prominent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


prom·​i·​nent ˈpräm(-ə)-nənt How to pronounce prominent (audio)
: sticking out beyond a surface or line
: easily noticeable
the prominent sound was the drumbeat
: distinguished, eminent
our most prominent citizens
prominently adverb

Medical Definition


prom·​i·​nent ˈpräm-(ə-)nənt How to pronounce prominent (audio)
: standing out or projecting beyond a surface

More from Merriam-Webster on prominent

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