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[uh-par-uh nt, uh-pair-] /əˈpær ənt, əˈpɛər-/
readily seen; exposed to sight; open to view; visible:
The crack in the wall was readily apparent.
capable of being easily perceived or understood; plain or clear; obvious:
The solution to the problem was apparent to all.
according to appearances, initial evidence, incomplete results, etc.; ostensible rather than actual:
He was the apparent winner of the election.
entitled to a right of inheritance by birth, indefeasible except by one's death before that of the ancestor, to an inherited throne, title, or other estate.
Origin of apparent
1350-1400; < Latin appārent- (stem of appārēns appearing; see appear, -ent); replacing Middle English aparant < Middle French
Related forms
apparently, adverb
apparentness, noun
nonapparent, adjective
nonapparently, adverb
nonapparentness, noun
self-apparent, adjective
subapparent, adjective
subapparently, adverb
subapparentness, noun
unapparent, adjective
unapparently, adverb
unapparentness, noun
1. discernible. 2. open, conspicuous, manifest, unmistakable.
2. concealed, obscure.
Synonym Study
2. Apparent, evident, obvious, patent all refer to something easily perceived. Apparent applies to that which can readily be seen or perceived: an apparent effort. Evident applies to that which facts or circumstances make plain: His innocence was evident. Obvious applies to that which is unquestionable, because of being completely manifest or noticeable: an obvious change of method. Patent, a more formal word, applies to that which is open to view or understanding by all: a patent error. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for apparently
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Paralus breathes and moves, but is apparently unconscious of existence in this world.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • There sat his nephew in the old place, apparently not having stirred.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Much of it, apparently, he will convert into that champagne he now drinks.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • They were on the bank of a stream of some width, and apparently a deep and rapid one.

  • How were they to effect these apparently incompatible objects?

British Dictionary definitions for apparently


/əˈpærəntlɪ; əˈpɛər-/
(sentence modifier) it appears that; as far as one knows; seemingly


/əˈpærənt; əˈpɛər-/
readily seen or understood; evident; obvious
(usually prenominal) seeming, as opposed to real: his apparent innocence belied his complicity in the crime
(physics) as observed but ignoring such factors as the motion of the observer, changes in the environment, etc Compare true (sense 9)
Derived Forms
apparentness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin appārēns, from appārēre to appear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apparently

late 14c., "visibly, openly," from apparent + -ly (2). Meaning "evidently" is from 1550s; that of "to all appearances" (but not necessarily "really") is from 1560s; meaning "so far as can be judged, seemingly," is from 1846. A gradual retreat from certainty.



late 14c., from Old French aparant "evident, obvious, visible," from Latin apparentem (nominative apparens) "visible, manifest," present participle of apparere (see appear). First attested in phrase heir apparent (see heir). Meaning "superficial" is c.1400. Apparent magnitude in astronomy (how bright a heavenly body looks from earth, as opposed to absolute magnitude, which is how bright it really is) is attested from 1875.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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