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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 unobtrusiveness
Historical Examples
  • Nellie was a good girl, and I think had a sort of quiet respect for old Fagg's unobtrusiveness.

    Selected Stories Bret Harte
  • The freckles were there, too; he saw them in a better light now and decided they were just the right shade of unobtrusiveness.

    Good References E. J. Rath
  • Thus they must retire even behind the furniture by their unobtrusiveness.

    Principles of Decorative Design Christopher Dresser
  • Nellie was a good girl, and I think had a sort of quiet respect for Old Fagg's unobtrusiveness.

  • It must be the strongest tint in the room, and yet it must have the unobtrusiveness of strength.

  • Thorpe's devotion was a thing so complete, so perfect in its unobtrusiveness, that it defeated its own purpose.

    Kildares of Storm Eleanor Mercein Kelly
  • In every instance, with an unobtrusiveness all his own, Henry Fair had made her pleasure his business.

    John March, Southerner George W. Cable
  • The buildings of the Tufa Period are easily recognized by the unobtrusiveness of the materials used in their construction.

  • Nothing has been more remarkable in her beneficent and self-sacrificing career than its unobtrusiveness.

British Dictionary definitions for unobtrusiveness


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 unobtrusiveness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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