[uhn-uh b-troo-siv]
See more synonyms for unobtrusive on

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. 2018

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


  1. 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