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

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 modules send out infrared light that maps the unique facial characteristics of passersby, providing an additional, unobtrusive layer of accuracy when keeping eyes on a city’s inhabitants. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The World of 2045," 14 Oct. 2018 In River Gallery, the rooms are curated according to style or theme, with unobtrusive lights to showcase the art, and the whole gallery still feels like a home. Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Atlanta," 23 Aug. 2018 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

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

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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).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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