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[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.
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Examples from the Web for unobtrusively
Historical Examples
  • Yetta started to say, "I did," but Braun kicked her unobtrusively and she kept still.

    Comrade Yetta Albert Edwards
  • She slipped in as unobtrusively as possible and no one saw her.

    The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson Nellie van De Grift Sanchez
  • Thomas Lynde faded out of life as quietly and unobtrusively as he had lived it.

    Anne Of Avonlea Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Evadna freed herself as unobtrusively as possible, and looked at him with wide eyes.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • Again Nasmyth, conscious that his companion was 214 unobtrusively watching him, sat silent a moment or two.

    The Greater Power Harold Bindloss
  • unobtrusively offered,—tendered with a due delicacy and reserve?

    Barrington Charles James Lever
  • Some make their exit quietly, unobtrusively; they slip away with a little gesture of the hand, or a mere look to say adieu.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • De Spain unobtrusively spurred his steed to greater activity.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • He sat now unobtrusively listening to the conversation that passed near him, relative to the issue of the case.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
  • So no wonder he betook himself away as quickly and as unobtrusively as possible.

    Patsy S. R. Crockett
British Dictionary definitions for unobtrusively


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
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Word Origin and History for unobtrusively



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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