synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of obvious in English

English Online Dictionary. What means obvious‎? What does obvious mean?



16th century, from Latin obvius (being in the way so as to meet, meeting, easy to access, at hand, ready, obvious), from ob- (before) + via (way). In order to avoid an awkward form such as *obvy, the Latin ending -us was maintained in the form -ous (which is otherwise equivalent to Latin -osus).


  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɑb.vi.əs/, (fast speech) /ˈɑ.vi.əs/
  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɒb.vɪəs/, /ˈɒ.vɪəs/, (fast speech) /ˈɒv.jəs/
  • Hyphenation: ob‧vi‧ous


obvious (comparative more obvious, superlative most obvious)

  1. Easily discovered, seen, or understood; self-explanatory.
    • Carried somehow, somewhither, for some reason, on these surging floods, were these travelers, of errand not wholly obvious to their fellows, yet of such sort as to call into query alike the nature of their errand and their own relations. It is easily earned repetition to state that Josephine St. Auban's was a presence not to be concealed.


  • See also Thesaurus:obvious.


  • unobvious
  • non-obvious
  • subtle

Derived terms

  • obviously
  • obviousness


See also

  • clear
  • evident
  • manifest
  • plain

Further reading

  • obvious in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • obvious in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

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