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From Latin obnoxiōsus (hurtful, injurious, dangerous), from obnoxius (punishable; liable to danger), from ob (against; facing) + noxia (hurt, injury, damage).



obnoxious (comparative more obnoxious, superlative most obnoxious)

  1. Extremely unpleasant or offensive; very annoying, odious or contemptible.
    • 1834, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Francesca Carrara, volume 1, page 74:
      The disturbance had commenced, like those of England, in the refusal of the parliament to sanction an obnoxious tax; but here all resemblance ended.
    • 1989, Antônio Torres, Blues for a Lost Childhood: A Novel of Brazil, page 41:
      Someone jolted my arm and the contents of my glass spilled onto an immaculate white dress. I felt obnoxious.
    • 2010 August 3, David Bennun, Tick Bite Fever[1], Random House, page 109:
      I WOULD HAVE been nine or ten when my mother chased me up a thorn tree with a ceremonial hippo-hide whip. What my crime was, I forget. My mother was, and remains, a woman of exceptional forbearance. I must have done something so obnoxious as to beggar belief.
    • 2013, Catherine Hilterbrant, Drive-by Psychosis, →ISBN, page 51:
      I always feel out of place when I am around people. I feel obnoxious if I laugh or talk too much.
    • 2013, Molly Cutpurse, Dark Man, →ISBN, page 44:
      He felt obnoxious and knew perfectly well that he would have no explanation whatsoever had anyone discovered him, but she looked so alluring, so untroubled, so fortunate, that his only concern was the terrible crack the shutter made...quiet as it was.
    He was an especially obnoxious and detestable specimen of a man.
    Throwing stones at the bus is another example of your obnoxious behaviour.
  2. (archaic) Exposing to harm or injury.
    • 1661, Robert Boyle, The Sceptical Chymist, page 26,
      To begin then with his Experiment of the burning Wood, it seems to me to be obnoxious to not a few considerable Exceptions.


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