un·​ob·​tru·​sive | \ ˌən-əb-ˈtrü-siv How to pronounce unobtrusive (audio) , -ziv\

Definition of unobtrusive

: not obtrusive : not blatant, arresting, or aggressive : inconspicuous

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Other Words from unobtrusive

unobtrusively adverb
unobtrusiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for unobtrusive


discreet, inconspicuous, invisible, unnoticeable


conspicuous, noticeable, visible

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Examples of unobtrusive in a Sentence

the notice that an 18% tip would be automatically added was so unobtrusive we almost didn't see it at the bottom of the menu

Recent Examples on the Web

The Cartier pieces are small and unobtrusive, but still very cool. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Natalia Dyer Is Living Her Best #RobeLife in Paris in About $100K Worth of Jewels," 19 Apr. 2019 Catering, like psychiatric medicine, is most effective when unobtrusive. Max Watman, WSJ, "‘Hotbox’ Review: Prepping the Fiesta," 11 Apr. 2019 By trying to be as fast and unobtrusive as possible, the phone starts scanning the finger that’s already on the pad as soon as the payment request pops up. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Scammy iOS apps used Touch ID to push users toward $99 payouts," 3 Dec. 2018 Pilot Assist’s lane-centering is not as smooth and unobtrusive as Nissan’s Pro Pilot Plus. Mark Phelan, USA TODAY, "Review: Volvo loads up XC40 compact SUV with nifty features," 8 June 2018 For many of us — for a contractor looking to flip a house or an art gallery owner removing visual distractions, or a Scandinavian who wants to brighten her home over a long dark winter — white is an unobtrusive base color. Hayley Krischer, The Seattle Times, "Exploring the many shades of white — and they’re all right," 10 Sep. 2018 Unlike a barcode, the epoxy dot is tiny and unobtrusive. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon Uses Plant DNA to Catch Counterfeit Parts," 21 Nov. 2016 The first wave will be unobtrusive sensors with onboard computing and wireless radios with a range of as much as a kilometer. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Here Comes ‘Smart Dust,’ the Tiny Computers That Pull Power from the Air," 8 Nov. 2018 One was that a telescope, once built, tended not to come down, and the people doing the building didn't always plan to keep the hardware unobtrusive or minimize the environmental damages of construction. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Hawaiian Supreme Court gives go-ahead to giant telescope," 1 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unobtrusive.' 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 unobtrusive

1743, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unobtrusive

Last Updated

7 May 2019

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Time Traveler for unobtrusive

The first known use of unobtrusive was in 1743

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English Language Learners Definition of unobtrusive

: not attracting attention in a way that bothers you

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Comments on unobtrusive

What made you want to look up unobtrusive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a tendency to relapse

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