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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 unobtrusiveness
Historical Examples
  • It must be the strongest tint in the room, and yet it must have the unobtrusiveness of strength.

  • The freckles were there, too; he saw them in a better light now and decided they were just the right shade of unobtrusiveness.

    Good References E. J. Rath
  • Thus they must retire even behind the furniture by their unobtrusiveness.

    Principles of Decorative Design

    Christopher Dresser
  • Nellie was a good girl, and I think had a sort of quiet respect for Old Fagg's unobtrusiveness.

  • Thorpe's devotion was a thing so complete, so perfect in its unobtrusiveness, that it defeated its own purpose.

    Kildares of Storm

    Eleanor Mercein Kelly
  • Nellie was a good girl, and I think had a sort of quiet respect for old Fagg's unobtrusiveness.

    Selected Stories Bret Harte
  • Nothing has been more remarkable in her beneficent and self-sacrificing career than its unobtrusiveness.

  • The buildings of the Tufa Period are easily recognized by the unobtrusiveness of the materials used in their construction.

  • In every instance, with an unobtrusiveness all his own, Henry Fair had made her pleasure his business.

    John March, Southerner George W. Cable
British Dictionary definitions for unobtrusiveness


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 unobtrusiveness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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