Definitions

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

  • adj. Easily perceived or understood; quite apparent. See Synonyms at apparent.
  • adj. Easily seen through because of a lack of subtlety; transparent: an obvious political ploy.
  • adj. Archaic Standing in the way or in front.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Easily discovered, seen, or understood; self-explanatory.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Opposing; fronting.
  • adj. Exposed; subject; open; liable.
  • adj. Easily discovered, seen, or understood; readily perceived by the eye or the intellect; plain; evident; apparent

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Being or standing in the way; standing or placed in the front.
  • Open; exposed to danger or accident.
  • Coming in the way; presenting itself as to be done.
  • Easily discovered, seen, or understood; plain; manifest; evident; palpable.
  • In zoology, plainly distinguishable; quite apparent: as, an obvious mark; an obvious stria: opposed -to obscure or obsolete.

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

  • adj. easily perceived by the senses or grasped by the mind

Etymologies

From Latin obvius, from obviam, in the way, within reach : ob-, against; see ob- + viam, accusative sing. of via, way; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin obvius ("being in the way so as to meet, meeting, easy to access, at hand, ready, obvious"), from ob- ("before") + via ("way"). (Wiktionary)

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