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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from unobtrusive

unobtrusively adverb
unobtrusiveness noun

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 Instead of dominating and domesticating the landscape, Fallingwater adopted Thoreau’s vision of a way to preserve wildness while making an unobtrusive place for human habitation. Christopher Benfey, Harper's magazine, "Burning Down the House," 25 Nov. 2019 Sardines are also loaded with calcium due in part to their fine, unobtrusive, edible bones. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Sardines are not gross: A message for National Sardines Day," 21 Nov. 2019 Basically, those catchphrases mean that news photographers need to be unobtrusive observers while also getting close enough to record the raw emotions and character of a person. Santiago Mejia,, "Video: Behind the scenes of ‘The Fisherman’s Secret’," 19 Nov. 2019 Squeezed between office buildings, the Hotel Julian opened in October 2018, an unobtrusive addition to the burgeoning Chicago lodging landscape. Robert Channick,, "Too many hotel rooms in Chicago? Prices and occupancy are down — good for you, bad for hoteliers.," 1 Nov. 2019 The prospect of 625 pound-feet of torque on tap should be enough to scare anybody away from hard acceleration on public streets, but sticky Michelin performance tires and unobtrusive electronics keep the GT500 from being uncomfortably edgy. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "760-horsepower 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 strikes like lightning," 29 Oct. 2019 Low-volume ‘50s music provides an unobtrusive soundtrack for your meal. Steve West,, "Hooked on egg creams and lobster rolls | Opinion," 27 Sep. 2019 The wireless antenna regulations include special protections for the city’s historic areas and efforts to limit visual impacts, while also aiming to keep the new antennas as unobtrusive as possible. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego approves strong rules for 5G cell antennas," 23 July 2019 Cruz’s modern-language version is for the most part pleasingly unobtrusive. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Macbeth’ in SF gets stunning update, with mixed results," 19 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of unobtrusive

1743, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unobtrusive

Time Traveler for unobtrusive

Time Traveler

The first known use of unobtrusive was in 1743

See more words from the same year

Statistics for unobtrusive

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Unobtrusive.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unobtrusive


How to pronounce unobtrusive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of unobtrusive

: not attracting attention in a way that bothers you

Keep scrolling for more

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).


very cautious or careful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!