Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[uhn-uh b-troo-siv] /ˌʌn əbˈtru sɪv/
not obtrusive; inconspicuous, unassertive, or reticent.
Origin of unobtrusive
First recorded in 1735-45; un-1 + obtrusive
Related forms
unobtrusively, adverb
unobtrusiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for unobtrusive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There was little sympathy between the haughty, imperious Josephine and her mild, unobtrusive sister.

    City Crimes Greenhorn
  • He may live in the hotel, but he must be quiet and unobtrusive.

    The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Though for the most part attained with great accuracy, they were few in number, and unobtrusive in kind.

    Self-control Mary Brunton
  • His religious life, while decided and settled, was unobtrusive and kindly.

  • He had fed her, too, with an unobtrusive, almost matter-of-fact tenderness which carried no suggestion of her helplessness.

    The Blood Red Dawn Charles Caldwell Dobie
  • He left the scene of his daily labours quickly like an unobtrusive shadow.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • At last he came to England, where he lived for nearly twenty years the unobtrusive life of a man of letters.

British Dictionary definitions for unobtrusive


not noticeable or conspicuous
Derived Forms
unobtrusively, adverb
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unobtrusive

from un- (1) + obtrusive. Related: Unobtrusively; unobtrusiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for unobtrusive

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for unobtrusive

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for unobtrusive