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[uhn-uh b-troo-siv] /ˌʌn əbˈtru sɪv/
not obtrusive; inconspicuous, unassertive, or reticent.
Origin of unobtrusive
1735-45; un-1 + obtrusive
Related forms
unobtrusively, adverb
unobtrusiveness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unobtrusive
  • The unobtrusive panels protect the bamboo from rain but allow diffused sunlight to filter through.
  • The whole thing is a model of unobtrusive artistry amid the everyday nondescript.
  • These unobtrusive additions to your existing roof capture solar energy and create electricity.
  • Its best application might be for travel shooting, where being unobtrusive counts.
  • He tried to be unobtrusive, but every eye in the room followed him.
  • Although some of these creatures are tiny and unobtrusive, others are not.
  • The near past is naturally unobtrusive as a setting.
  • As unobtrusive as they may look, zygapophyses play a huge role in determining how far an animal can flex its back and neck.
  • The widgets work because they are unobtrusive and do not distract other viewers from watching their programmes.
  • Because the great fear is ignorance, regulators are commendably seeking unobtrusive ways to keep tabs on the markets.
British Dictionary definitions for unobtrusive


not noticeable or conspicuous
Derived Forms
unobtrusively, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unobtrusive

from un- (1) + obtrusive. Related: Unobtrusively; unobtrusiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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