16th century, from Latin obvius ("being in the way so as to meet, meeting, easy to access, at hand, ready, obvious"), from ob- ("before") + via ("way"). Pronunciation
  • (America) IPA: /ˈɑb.vi.əs/, /ˈɑ.vi.əs/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈɒb.vɪəs/, /ˈɒ.vɪəs/, /ˈɒv.jəs/


  1. Easily discovered, seen, or understood; self-explanatory.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter II, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314 ↗, page 0147 ↗:
      Carried somehow, somewhither, for some reason, on these surging floods, were these travelers, of errand not wholly obvious to their fellows, yet of such sort as to call into query alike the nature of their errand and their own relations. It is easily earned repetition to state that Josephine St. Auban's was a presence not to be concealed.
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