highly objectionable or offensive; odious: obnoxious behavior.
annoying or objectionable due to being a showoff or attracting undue attention to oneself: an obnoxious little brat.
Archaic. exposed or liable to harm, evil, or anything objectionable.
Obsolete. liable to punishment or censure; reprehensible.

Origin of obnoxious

1575–85; < Latin obnoxiōsus harmful, equivalent to ob- ob- + noxiōsus noxious
Related formsob·nox·ious·ly, adverbob·nox·ious·ness, nounun·ob·nox·i·ous, adjectiveun·ob·nox·i·ous·ly, adverb

Synonyms for obnoxious

1. See hateful.

Antonyms for obnoxious

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obnoxiousness

Contemporary Examples of obnoxiousness

  • With the cross-cultural humor well running dry, Tucker sends his obnoxiousness into overdrive, becoming completely unbearable.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Top 10 Most Played-Out Movie Franchises

    Marlow Stern

    February 17, 2011

  • He could be poised to pull an Alec Baldwin—from fame to obnoxiousness to obscurity to a critically acclaimed sitcom.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Can Chevy Chase Save NBC?

    Kim Masters

    May 4, 2009

Historical Examples of obnoxiousness

  • For the latter tends to confirm and sanction the dualism in all its obnoxiousness.

  • Mr. Pope tells me that I am dead, and that this obnoxiousness is the reward for my inoffensiveness in my former life.

  • It spreads until a Negro is lynched for chicken stealing, or for mere “obnoxiousness.”

    Following the Color Line

    Ray Stannard Baker

  • When we were mining, we lived in separate tents, so as not to intrude our obnoxiousness on each other.

British Dictionary definitions for obnoxiousness



extremely unpleasant
obsolete exposed to harm, injury, etc
Derived Formsobnoxiously, adverbobnoxiousness, noun

Word Origin for obnoxious

C16: from Latin obnoxius, from ob- to + noxa injury, from nocēre to harm
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 obnoxiousness



1580s, "subject to the authority of another," from Latin obnoxiosus "hurtful, injurious," from obnoxius "subject, exposed to harm," from ob "to, toward" (see ob-) + noxa "injury, hurt, damage entailing liability" (see noxious). Meaning "subject to something harmful" is 1590s; meaning "offensive, hateful" is first recorded 1670s, influenced by noxious.

Obnoxious has two very different senses, one of which (exposed or open or liable to attack or injury) requires notice because its currency is now so restricted that it is puzzling to the uninstructed. It is the word's rightful or de jure meaning, and we may hope that scholarly writers will keep it alive. [Fowler]

Related: Obnoxiously; obnoxiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper