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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unobtrusively
Historical Examples
  • Evadna freed herself as unobtrusively as possible, and looked at him with wide eyes.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • unobtrusively offered,—tendered with a due delicacy and reserve?

    Barrington Charles James Lever
  • De Spain unobtrusively spurred his steed to greater activity.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • I was sent here to build this bit of a railroad quietly and unobtrusively.

  • For a minute he watched her unobtrusively, and wondered why the life had gone out of her.

    Ambrotox and Limping Dick Oliver Fleming
  • She slipped in as unobtrusively as possible and no one saw her.

    The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson Nellie van De Grift Sanchez
  • So no wonder he betook himself away as quickly and as unobtrusively as possible.

    Patsy S. R. Crockett
  • Out of doors, all playing was to be carried on unobtrusively.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • We went as unobtrusively as we could to the Castle; and entered, I think, unobserved.

  • She ate little, and that so unobtrusively, I used to wonder if she ate at all.

    Miss Primrose

    Roy Rolfe Gilson
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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