9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kuh n-spik-yoo-uh s] /kənˈspɪk yu əs/
easily seen or noticed; readily visible or observable:
a conspicuous error.
attracting special attention, as by outstanding qualities or eccentricities:
He was conspicuous by his booming laughter.
Origin of conspicuous
1535-45; < Latin conspicuus visible, conspicuous, equivalent to conspic(ere) (see conspectus) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; cf. contiguous, continuous, -ous
Related forms
conspicuously, adverb
conspicuousness, conspicuity
[kon-spi-kyoo-i-tee] /ˌkɒn spɪˈkyu ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
1. manifest, noticeable, clear, marked, salient. 2. prominent, striking, noteworthy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for conspicuous
  • Our unknown travelers may have chosen the burial spot because it was obscure-or because it was conspicuous.
  • Small flowers with conspicuous reddish stamens open in late winter, before new leaves emerge.
  • There are vast slums of dirt roads and shanties and a conspicuous homeless population in the heart of downtown.
  • They argued correctly that conspicuous coloring was also designed to warn off a predator or attract a perspective mate.
  • While this laudatory initiative has great potential, some might worry about its conspicuous absences.
  • Shepherd laments the many contributors to poor modern diets-fast-food companies conspicuous among them.
  • There is one conspicuous absence from this list of moral teachers on campus: athletic coaches.
  • Bank ads spurn conspicuous consumption and trumpet the more lasting treasures of a well-balanced life.
  • When government is subverted and removed and made into for-profit, it is a conspicuous scenario.
  • Distinct yellow edging to flight feathers and tail, conspicuous in flight and on folded wing.
British Dictionary definitions for conspicuous


clearly visible; obvious or showy
attracting attention because of a striking quality or feature: conspicuous stupidity
Derived Forms
conspicuously, adverb
conspicuousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin conspicuus, from conspicere to perceive; see conspectus
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 conspicuous

1540s, from Latin conspicuus "visible, open to view, striking," from conspicere "to look at, observe, see, notice," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + specere (see scope (n.1)). Phrase conspicuous by its absence (1859) is said to be from Tacitus ("Annals" iii.76), in a passage about certain images: "sed præfulgebant ... eo ipso quod effigies eorum non visebantur."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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