un·​ob·​tru·​sive | \ˌən-əb-ˈtrü-siv, -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

That same technology will soon be used to automate the placement of unobtrusive ads in the background of TV shows and movies. Ralf Jacob, Fortune, "AI Is About to Make Video Ads a Lot Less Annoying," 26 June 2018 Want something unobtrusive, but incredibly high quality? Taylor A Puskaric, USA TODAY, "5 Bluetooth Headphones To Get You Through Your Next Trip," 31 Jan. 2018 The fund has invested in Aquaai, a local Blue Tech startup founded by Liane Thompson that uses unobtrusive sensors and cameras to gather marine data. Mike Freeman,, "San Diego Startup Week kicks off downtown, serving up all things for entrepreneurs," 26 June 2018 But real kind of non-obtrusive, unobtrusive AR glasses, those are still several years away. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Recode Editor in Chief Dan Frommer answers Apple WWDC questions on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 25 June 2018 Everybody's playing such a little, unobtrusive part. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Trombone-playing singer-songwriter Natalie Cressman finds jam band groove," 15 June 2018 The fruit has a neon pink skin festooned with yellow tendrils that hide a stark white or magenta interior peppered with tiny, unobtrusive seeds. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "Your guide to your store’s funky fruits: What’s good, how to eat them," 13 June 2018 Winds are light and unobtrusive, while humidity stays fairly comfortably low. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: A nice day for a parade; highs in the 80s return tomorrow," 12 June 2018 Instead of building new housing on those vacant lots, which would be prone to flooding, the city should come up with creative, unobtrusive ways of dealing with the wastewater, such as by turning the lots into parks, Spirn suggested years ago. Max Kutner, Smithsonian, "America’s Top Designers are Both Embracing and Breaking with Tradition," 14 May 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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Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

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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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