[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 unobtrusively

Historical Examples of unobtrusively

  • Evadna freed herself as unobtrusively as possible, and looked at him with wide eyes.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Unobtrusively offered,—tendered with a due delicacy and reserve?


    Charles James Lever

  • De Spain unobtrusively spurred his steed to greater activity.

    Nan of Music Mountain

    Frank H. Spearman

  • I was sent here to build this bit of a railroad quietly and unobtrusively.

  • For a minute he watched her unobtrusively, and wondered why the life had gone out of her.

British Dictionary definitions for unobtrusively



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 unobtrusively



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper