Meaning of OBVIOUS in English


ob ‧ vi ‧ ous S2 W2 AC /ˈɒbviəs $ ˈɑːb-/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ obviousness ; adverb : ↑ obviously ; adjective : ↑ obvious ]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: obvius , from obviam ; ⇨ ↑ obviate ]

1 . easy to notice or understand:

The obvious way of reducing pollution is to use cars less.

it is obvious (that)

It was obvious that Gina was lying.

obvious to

It might be obvious to you, but it isn’t to me.

2 . behaving in a way that shows you want something very badly, when other people think this behaviour is not suitable:

I know you really like him, but you don’t have to be so obvious about it.

3 . the/an obvious choice the person or thing that you would expect everyone to choose:

Teaching is an obvious choice of career if you like working with children.

4 . the obvious thing (to do) what clearly seems the best thing to do:

The obvious thing is to speak to her before you make a decision.

5 . state the obvious to say something that is already obvious so it is not necessary to say it:

It is stating the obvious, but regular measurement of blood pressure is essential in older people.

—obviousness noun [uncountable]

• • •


■ verbs

▪ seem/appear obvious

It seems obvious to me that he is guilty.

▪ sound obvious

This may sound obvious, but don’t forget to put your name on your paper.

▪ become obvious

It soon became obvious that the boy was not really interested.

■ nouns

▪ an obvious reason

The plan, for obvious reasons, was being kept secret.

▪ an obvious example

This case is an obvious example of what can go wrong.

▪ an obvious question

The obvious question is: why?

▪ the obvious answer

There is no obvious answer to their problem.

■ adverbs

▪ glaringly/blindingly obvious (=extremely obvious)

The cause of her problems is glaringly obvious.

▪ transparently/patently/blatantly obvious (=clearly obvious)

His interest in her was blatantly obvious.

▪ painfully obvious (=very obvious, and embarrassing or upsetting)

It became painfully obvious that she and Edward had nothing in common.

▪ immediately obvious

The cause of the pain was not immediately obvious.

▪ fairly/quite obvious ( also pretty obvious spoken )

There are some fairly obvious signs of a poor diet.

• • •


▪ obvious something that is obvious is very easy to notice or understand – used especially when you are surprised that other people cannot notice it:

There is an obvious connection between the two murders.


It was obvious that something was wrong.

▪ clear easy to notice that something is true, so that you feel sure about it and have no doubts:

It was clear to me that my father was dying.


There are clear signs of an economic recovery.

▪ noticeable very easy to notice, especially because you can see, hear, smell, or feel something:

Steroid drugs cause a noticeable change in someone’s behaviour.


Road noise tends to be more noticeable in certain weather conditions.

▪ conspicuous very easy to notice, because of being different from things around them:

a conspicuous white spot on the bird’s wings


She tried to make herself look less conspicuous.


Don’t leave your valuables in a conspicuous place.

▪ unmistakable extremely obvious, so that you cannot possibly confuse something with something else:

the unmistakable sound of gunfire


The flower’s scent is unmistakable.

▪ self-evident formal facts, ideas etc that are self-evident are obvious and true, although some people may not accept them or know about them:

The facts in this case are self-evident and cannot be denied.


We hold these truths to be self-evident (=we believe that they obvious and true – from the American Declaration of Independence) .

▪ blatant use this about something that someone does which is clearly bad, but which they do not seem to be ashamed of:

a blatant lie


The bill is a blatant attempt to limit our right to free speech.

▪ can tell to know that something must be true because you can see signs that show this:

Even though it was dark, she could tell it was him.


How can you tell if you’ve broken your arm?

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.