1. easily seen, recognized, or understood; open to view or knowledge; evident: an obvious advantage.
  2. lacking in subtlety.
  3. 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 formsob·vi·ous·ly, adverbob·vi·ous·ness, nounnon·ob·vi·ous, adjectivenon·ob·vi·ous·ly, adverbnon·ob·vi·ous·ness, nouno·ver·ob·vi·ous, adjectivepre·ob·vi·ous, adjectivepre·ob·vi·ous·ly, adverbpre·ob·vi·ous·ness, nounun·ob·vi·ous, adjectiveun·ob·vi·ous·ly, adverbun·ob·vi·ous·ness, noun
Can be confusedoblivious obvious

Synonyms for obvious

Synonym study

1. See apparent.

Antonyms for obvious

1. hidden.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for non-obvious

Contemporary Examples of non-obvious

British Dictionary definitions for non-obvious


  1. easy to see or understand; evident
  2. exhibiting motives, feelings, intentions, etc, clearly or without subtlety
  3. naive or unsubtlethe play was rather obvious
  4. obsolete being or standing in the way
Derived Formsobviousness, noun

Word Origin for obvious

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

Word Origin and History for non-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