Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Easy to notice; obvious.
  • adjective Attracting attention, as by being unusual or remarkable; noticeable. synonym: noticeable.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Open to the view; catching the eye; easy to be seen; manifest.
  • Obvious to the mind; readily attracting or forcing itself upon the attention; clearly or extensively known, perceived, or understood; striking.
  • Hence Eminent; notable; distinguished: as, a man of conspicuous talents; a woman of conspicuous virtues.
  • Synonyms Illustrious, eminent, celebrated, remarkable, marked, notable.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Open to the view; obvious to the eye; easy to be seen; plainly visible; manifest; attracting the eye.
  • adjective Obvious to the mental eye; easily recognized; clearly defined; notable; prominent; eminent; distinguished.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Obvious or easy to notice.
  • adjective Noticeable or attracting attention, especially if unattractive.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective without any attempt at concealment; completely obvious
  • adjective obvious to the eye or mind

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Latin cōnspicuus, from cōnspicere, to observe : com-, intensive pref.; see com– + specere, to look; see spek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin conspicuus ("visible, striking"), from cōnspicere ("to notice"), from con- ("with, together") + specere ("to look at")

Examples

  • My brother officers were as good fellows as sailors ought to be and generally are, but, naturally, they neither knew nor cared anything about my pursuits, nor understood why I should be so zealous in pursuit of the objects which my friends, the middies, † christened “Buffons,” after the title conspicuous on a volume of the Suites a Buffon, ‡ which stood on my shelf in the chart room.

    Autobiography

  • My brother officers were as good fellows as sailors ought to be and generally are, but, naturally, they neither knew nor cared anything about my pursuits, nor understood why I should be so zealous in pursuit of the objects which my friends, the middies, † christened “Buffons,” after the title conspicuous on a volume of the Suites a Buffon, ‡ which stood on my shelf in the chart room.

    Autobiography

  • In the term conspicuous is included plants that attract general attention.

    The Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • “Buffons,” after the title conspicuous on a volume of the Suites a Buffon, [11] which stood on my shelf in the chart room.

    Autobiography and Selected Essays

  • "Buffons," after the title conspicuous on a volume of the Suites a Buffon, which stood on my shelf in the chart room.

    Autobiography and Selected Essays

  • "Buffons," after the title conspicuous on a volume of the "Suites a Buffon," which stood on my shelf in the chart-room.

    The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley

  • In the term conspicuous is included plants that attract general attention.

    Confessions of a Beachcomber

  • My brother officers were as good fellows as sailors ought to be and generally are, but, naturally, they neither knew nor cared anything about my pursuits, nor understood why I should be so zealous in pursuit of the objects which my friends, the middies, christened "Buffons," after the title conspicuous on a volume of the "Suites a Buffon," which stood on my shelf in the chart-room.

    Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley — Volume 1

  • "Buffons," after the title conspicuous on a volume of the Suites a

    Autobiography and Selected Essays

  • "As he is also an item of expense, and commonly serves no industrial purpose, he holds a well-assured place in men's regard as a thing of good repute," Veblen wrote in his celebrated Theory of the Leisure Class, the book that brought us the term conspicuous consumption.

    NPR Topics: News

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Kenspeckle is far superior.

    December 7, 2006

  • I like the expression "conspicuous by its absence", but some may regard it as a cliché.

    May 26, 2007

  • Her experiences in London had led her to believe that the best way of not exciting suspicion was to make oneself conspicuous. -- ''Yashima, or, The Gorgeous West'' by R T Sherwood, 1931.

    December 24, 2008

  • WIZARD

    Well, you can't. As for you, my fine

    friend -- you're a victim of disorganized

    thinking. You are under the unfortunate

    delusion that simply because you run away

    from danger, you have no courage. You're

    confusing courage with wisdom. Back where

    I come from, we have men who are called

    heroes. Once a year, they take their

    fortitude out of mothballs and parade it

    down the main street of the city. And they

    have no more courage than you have. But!

    They have one thing that you haven't got!

    A medal! Therefore -- for meritorious....

    conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous

    bravery against wicked witches, I award you

    the Triple Cross.

    June 10, 2010

  • KENSPECKLE. i PRESUME!

    August 7, 2011

  • without any attempt at concealment; completely obvious

    American basketball players are always conspicuous when they go abroad--not only are they American, but some are over seven feet tall.

    October 12, 2016