adjective vis·i·ble \ ˈvi-zə-bəl \
Updated on: 18 Dec 2017

Definition of visible

1 a : capable of being seen
  • stars visible to the naked eye
b : situated in the region of the electromagnetic spectrum perceptible to human vision
  • visible light
used of radiation having a wavelength between about 400 nanometers and 700 nanometers
2 a : exposed to view
  • the visible horizon
b (1) : conspicuous
  • has played a highly visible role in the negotiations
(2) : well-known
  • a highly visible politician
3 : capable of being discovered or perceived : recognizable
  • no visible means of support
4 : accessible 2
  • visible resources
5 : devised to keep a particular part or item always in full view or readily seen or referred to
  • a visible index




play \ˈvi-zə-blē\ adverb

Examples of visible in a Sentence

  1. The ship was not visible through the fog.

  2. The ship was barely visible.

  3. The patient showed no visible symptoms.

  4. There was a visible change in his mood.

  5. They played a highly visible role in the negotiations.

Recent Examples of visible from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'visible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of visible

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin visibilis, from visus, past participle of vidēre to see




Definition of visible

plural visibles
: a visible person or thing : someone or something that can be seen or perceived
  • He achieved important results in both these endeavors, which, being visible, have received ample notice as the visibles of history usually do …
  • —Barbara W. Tuchman

First Known Use of visible


VISIBLE Defined for Kids


adjective vis·i·ble \ ˈvi-zə-bəl \

Definition of visible for Students

1 : capable of being seen
  • Getting the shutters open was another matter. Though no fastener was visible, they were locked.
  • —Franklin W. Dixon, The Secret Panel
2 : easily seen or understood : obvious
  • Her anger was quite visible.


\-blē\ adverb

Word Root of visible

The Latin word vidēre, meaning “to see”, and its form vīsis give us the roots vid and vis. Words from the Latin vidēre have something to do with seeing. Anything visible is able to be seen. Something evident is able to be seen, sensed, or understood. The video part of a television is the part that is seen, as opposed to the part that is heard. Vision is the ability to see. To visit is to go somewhere to see someone.

Medical Dictionary


adjective vis·i·ble \ ˈviz-ə-bəl \

medical Definition of visible

1 : capable of being seen : perceptible to vision
  • particulates visible to the naked eye
2 : situated in the visible spectrum
  • visible light

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to cause to suffer severely from hunger

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