Definition of obvious adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɒbviəs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːbviəs//
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  1. 1  obvious (to somebody) (that…) easy to see or understand synonym clear It was obvious to everyone that the child had been badly treated. It's obvious from what she said that something is wrong. I know you don't like her but try not to make it so obvious. He agreed with obvious pleasure. For obvious reasons, I'd prefer not to give my name. The reasons for this decision were not immediately obvious. Synonymsclearobvious apparent evident plainThese words all describe something that is easy to see or understand and leaves no doubts or confusion.clear easy to see or understand and leaving no doubts:It was quite clear to me that she was lying.obvious easy to see or understand:It’s obvious from what he said that something is wrong.apparent [not usually before noun] (rather formal) easy to see or understand:It was apparent from her face that she was really upset.evident (rather formal) easy to see or understand:The orchestra played with evident enjoyment.plain easy to see or understand:He made it very plain that he wanted us to leave. which word? These words all have almost exactly the same meaning. There are slight differences in register and patterns of use. If you make something clear/​plain, you do so deliberately because you want people to understand something; if you make something obvious, you usually do it without meaning to:I hope I make myself obvious. Try not to make it so clear/​plain. In the expressions clear majority, for obvious reasons, for no apparent reason and plain to see, none of the other words can be used instead. You can have a clear/​an obvious/​a plain case of something but not:an evident case of something.Patterns clear/​obvious/​apparent/​evident/​plain to somebody/​something clear/​obvious/​apparent/​evident/​plain that/​what/​who/​how/​where/​why… to seem/​become/​make something clear/​obvious/​apparent/​evident/​plain perfectly/​quite/​very clear/​obvious/​apparent/​evident/​plain
  2. 2  that most people would think of or agree to She was the obvious choice for the job. There's no obvious solution to the problem. This seemed the most obvious thing to do.
  3. 3  (disapproving) not interesting, new or showing imagination; unnecessary because it is clear to everyone The ending was pretty obvious. I may be stating the obvious but without more money the project cannot survive.
  4. Word Originlate 16th cent. (in the sense ‘frequently encountered’): from Latin obvius (from the phrase ob viam ‘in the way’) + -ous.Extra examples His manner made it obvious he didn’t like her. I’m not going to tell Jim about this, for fairly obvious reasons. It is obvious to me that you’re unhappy in your job. It soon became obvious that the machine did not work. It was becoming painfully obvious that the two of them had nothing in common. It was far from obvious how they were going to get off the island. It was immediately obvious that the bag was too heavy. The answer is perfectly obvious! The ineptitude of the government was all too obvious. The metaphor is so obvious that it’s impossible to miss. ‘What should we do?’ ‘It’s obvious, isn’t it?’ For obvious reasons, I’d prefer not to give my name. He put his book down with obvious annoyance. I know you don’t like her but try not to make it so obvious. It’s obvious from what she said that something is wrong. It’s obvious that she’d be upset. The reasons for this decision were not immediately obvious. The solution was obvious. There’s an obvious question that no one has asked.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: obvious