vis·i·bil·i·ty | \ ˌvi-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē \
plural visibilities

Definition of visibility 

1 : the quality or state of being visible

2a : the degree of clearness (as of the atmosphere or ocean) specifically : the greatest distance through the atmosphere toward the horizon at which prominent objects can be identified with the naked eye

b : capability of being readily noticed

c : capability of affording an unobstructed view

d : publicity sense 2d

3 : a measure of the ability of radiant energy to evoke visual sensation

Examples of visibility in a Sentence

The extra publicity helped to increase the company's visibility.

Recent Examples on the Web

The rebirth of a high-visibility Gurnee Mills outlot with the opening of three new retail businesses brings some good news as the destination mall absorbs the loss of two big-box stores. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Gurnee Mills outlot in 'highly important' location springs back to life," 2 July 2018 Van Houten has researched how high-visibility enforcement of traffic rules for drivers affected yielding to pedestrians in Gainesville, Florida. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Death on foot: Distracted driving, cell phones seen as factors," 28 June 2018 Sometimes people can't afford visibility, financially or otherwise. Kt Hawbaker,, "Performance artist Alok Vaid-Menon on why identity categories don't work — but stories do," 21 June 2018 The difference this year is that more candidates are spending big on congressional races and even on low-visibility statewide offices like lieutenant governor. John Wildermuth,, "Rich people crowded onto California’s ballot — and many finished out of the money," 18 June 2018 The property developer was NTP35 LP, which is beginning the process for finding a new tenant for the high-visibility location at I-35W and U.S. 287 (the enormous vacant lot south of In-N-Out Burger). Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "IKEA has shelved plans to build a Fort Worth store. What went wrong?," 8 June 2018 If a cyclist is not paying attention or there is low visibility, the jetty could potentially cause a rider to halt abruptly and flip over the front end of the bike. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "Bike The Woodlands Coalition: safety always comes first while riding," 25 May 2018 Certain situations are unique to open water, such as visibility, depth, uneven surfaces, uncertow and currents. Lisa Cianci,, "Kid drownings: Oceans, lakes bigger risk than pools," 23 May 2018 The Red Alert campaign is supposed to start with a high-visibility push today, then simmer until right before the vote — whenever that turns out to be. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Reddit, Tumblr, and other sites are adding ‘red alerts’ to support a net neutrality vote in Congress," 9 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about visibility

Share visibility

Statistics for visibility

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for visibility

The first known use of visibility was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for visibility



English Language Learners Definition of visibility

: the ability to see or be seen

: the quality or state of being known to the public


vis·i·bil·i·ty | \ ˌvi-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē \

Kids Definition of visibility

: the ability to see or be seen The bad weather caused poor visibility on the roads. Bright clothing increased the hunter's visibility.


vis·i·bil·i·ty | \ ˌviz-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē \
plural visibilities

Medical Definition of visibility 

1 : the quality or state of being visible

2 : a measure of the ability of radiant energy to evoke visual sensation

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on visibility

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


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!