[uhn-uh b-troo-siv]


not obtrusive; inconspicuous, unassertive, or reticent.

Origin of unobtrusive

First recorded in 1735–45; un-1 + obtrusive
Related formsun·ob·tru·sive·ly, adverbun·ob·tru·sive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unobtrusive

Contemporary Examples of unobtrusive

  • “These are problem-solving products but that incorporate technology in a really subtle, unobtrusive way,” she says.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Wearables Hit the Runway at Fashion Week

    Raquel Laneri

    September 11, 2014

  • What Hensrud and his team want is to make your diet as unobtrusive as possible.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Do I Have to Read The Mayo Clinic Diet?

    William Boot

    February 6, 2010

  • For the most part, his is an unobtrusive presence, and he wisely leaves the film and phone recordings to tell their own tale.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Reliving Mumbai's 9/11

    Tunku Varadarajan

    November 19, 2009

Historical Examples of unobtrusive

British Dictionary definitions for unobtrusive



not noticeable or conspicuous
Derived Formsunobtrusively, 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

Word Origin and History for unobtrusive

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper