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[ob-vee-uh s] /ˈɒb vi əs/
easily seen, recognized, or understood; open to view or knowledge; evident:
an obvious advantage.
lacking in subtlety.
Obsolete. being or standing in the way.
Origin of obvious
1580-90; < Latin obvius in the way, lying in the path, equivalent to ob- ob- + vi(a) way1 + -us adj. suffix (see -ous)
Related forms
obviously, adverb
obviousness, noun
nonobvious, adjective
nonobviously, adverb
nonobviousness, noun
overobvious, adjective
preobvious, adjective
preobviously, adverb
preobviousness, noun
unobvious, adjective
unobviously, adverb
unobviousness, noun
Can be confused
oblivious, obvious.
1. plain, manifest, clear, palpable, unmistakable. See apparent.
1. hidden. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for obvious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Hugh strode about the room in obvious perturbation, his eyes bent on the ground.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • He could not have expected to meet her here; and his discomposure was obvious.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • The relevance of this to the experience which we call "seeing the sun" is obvious.

  • The most obvious examples of this class are criminal attempts.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • It is obvious that where new words went, stories could also go, and very likely did go.

British Dictionary definitions for obvious


easy to see or understand; evident
exhibiting motives, feelings, intentions, etc, clearly or without subtlety
naive or unsubtle: the play was rather obvious
(obsolete) being or standing in the way
Derived Forms
obviousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin obvius, from obviam in the way, from ob- against + via way
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 obvious

1580s, "frequently met with," from Latin obvius "that is in the way, presenting itself readily, open, exposed, commonplace," from obviam (adv.) "in the way," from ob "against" (see ob-) + viam, accusative of via "way" (see via). Meaning "plain to see, evident" is first recorded 1630s. Related: Obviously; obviousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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