[ uhn-uhb-troo-siv ]
See synonyms for unobtrusive on
  1. not obtrusive; inconspicuous, unassertive, or reticent.

Origin of unobtrusive

First recorded in 1735–45; un-1 + obtrusive

Other words from unobtrusive

  • un·ob·tru·sive·ly, adverb
  • un·ob·tru·sive·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use unobtrusive in a sentence

  • Selecting a huge black snake, who bore unobtrusively my safety mark, I pounced down upon him and presented my bare arm.

  • The next instant the two men and the housekeeper had unobtrusively retired, and he was alone with his objective.

    The Regent | E. Arnold Bennett
  • (To Mrs. Clandon, in an unobtrusively confidential tone) Gentleman for you, ma'am.

    You Never Can Tell | George Bernard Shaw
  • Charles plays a deep game in the affairs of Europe, though he works ever silently and unobtrusively.

    Under the Rose | Frederic Stewart Isham
  • Then he showed himself in the crowd of "peelers" and their friends, as unconcernedly as he might; and as unobtrusively.

    The Happy Family | Bertha Muzzy Bower

British Dictionary definitions for unobtrusive


/ (ˌʌnəbˈtruːsɪv) /

  1. not noticeable or conspicuous

Derived forms of unobtrusive

  • 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