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From Latin conspicuus (visible, striking), from cōnspicere (to notice), from con- (with, together) + specere (to look at).


  • IPA(key): /kənˈspɪk.ju.əs/
  • (file)


conspicuous (comparative more conspicuous, superlative most conspicuous)

  1. Obvious or easy to notice.
    He was conspicuous by his absence.
    • 1928, Lawrence R. Bourne, chapter 7, in Well Tackled![1]:
      “No, don't,” replied the superintendent; “in fact, I'd rather you made yourself conspicuous elsewhere. Go down to the landing stage and cross to New Brighton or Wallasey—doesn't matter which—and come back. No doubt you will be seen, and reported to have gone across.”
    • 1964 April, “Letters: Rethinking emergency procedures”, in Modern Railways, page 274:
      [...] 1. Handsignalmen, where needed, ought to wear a conspicuous orange/yellow cape (like many road workmen) to draw attention to them.
  2. Noticeable or attracting attention, especially if unattractive.
    He had a conspicuous lump on his forehead.
    • 1969, Saul Bellow, Mr Sammler's Planet, Penguin Books Ltd, page 6:
      For his height he had a small face. The combination made him conspicuous.



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