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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for conspicuous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The country is very level, with low ranges, but no conspicuous hills.

  • Jennens was a conspicuous figure in the London society of his day.

    Handel Edward J. Dent
  • His moral and religious qualities were as conspicuous as his mental ones.

  • It is the citizen-women alone who are conspicuous in history.

    The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • Lastly, Variety: Variety is never so conspicuous, as when it is united with symmetry.

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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