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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective obvious contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of obvious are apparent, clear, distinct, evident, manifest, patent, and plain. While all these words mean "readily perceived or apprehended," obvious implies such ease in discovering that it often suggests conspicuousness or little need for perspicacity in the observer.

the obvious solution

How do apparent and evident relate to one another, in the sense of obvious?

Apparent is very close to evident except that it may imply more conscious exercise of inference.

for no apparent reason

When is clear a more appropriate choice than obvious?

The synonyms clear and obvious are sometimes interchangeable, but clear implies an absence of anything that confuses the mind or obscures the pattern.

a clear explanation

In what contexts can distinct take the place of obvious?

While in some cases nearly identical to obvious, distinct implies such sharpness of outline or definition that no unusual effort to see or hear or comprehend is required.

a distinct refusal

When is it sensible to use evident instead of obvious?

Although the words evident and obvious have much in common, evident implies presence of visible signs that lead one to a definite conclusion.

an evident fondness for sweets

When might manifest be a better fit than obvious?

The words manifest and obvious are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, manifest implies an external display so evident that little or no inference is required.

manifest hostility

When would patent be a good substitute for obvious?

While the synonyms patent and obvious are close in meaning, patent applies to a cause, effect, or significant feature that is clear and unmistakable once attention has been directed to it.

patent defects

When could plain be used to replace obvious?

In some situations, the words plain and obvious are roughly equivalent. However, plain suggests lack of intricacy, complexity, or elaboration.

her feelings about him are plain

Thesaurus Entries Near obvious

Cite this Entry

“Obvious.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/obvious. Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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