AskDefine | Define apparent

Dictionary Definition

apparent adj
1 clearly apparent or obvious to the mind or senses; "the effects of the drought are apparent to anyone who sees the parched fields"; "evident hostility"; "manifest disapproval"; "patent advantages"; "made his meaning plain"; "it is plain that he is no reactionary"; "in plain view" [syn: evident, manifest, patent, plain]
2 appearing as such but not necessarily so; "for all his apparent wealth he had no money to pay the rent"; "the committee investigated some apparent discrepancies"; "the ostensible truth of their theories"; "his seeming honesty" [syn: apparent(a), ostensible, seeming(a)]
3 readily apparent to the eye; "angry for no apparent reason"; "had no visible means of support"

User Contributed Dictionary



From apparent, in turn from apparens/apparentis, present participle of appareo.




  1. Capable of being seen, or easily seen; open to view; visible to the eye; within sight or view.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book IV,
      […] Hesperus, that led / The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon, / Rising in clouded majesty, at length / Apparent queen unveiled her peerless light, / And o’er the dark her silver mantle threw.
  2. Clear or manifest to the understanding; plain; evident; obvious; known; palpable; indubitable.
  3. Appearing to the eye or mind (distinguished from, but not necessarily opposed to, true or real); seeming.

Usage notes

  • The word |apparent has two common uses that are almost in opposition. One means roughly “clear; clearly true”, and serves to make a statement more decisive: It was apparent that no one knew the answer. (=No one knew the answer, and it showed.) The other is roughly “seeming; to all appearances”, and serves to make a statement less decisive: The apparent source of the hubbub was a stray kitten. (=There was a stray kitten, and it seemed to be the source of the hubbub.) The same ambivalence occurs with the derived adverb apparently, which usually means “seemingly” but can also mean “clearly”, especially when it is modified by another adverb, such as quite.


  • Finnish: näkyvä, silminnähtävä
  • German: offensichtlich
  • Hungarian: látható
  • Finnish: ilmeinen, selvä
  • German: offensichtlich
  • Hungarian: nyilvánvaló
  • Finnish: näennäinen
  • German: offenbar
  • Hungarian: látszólagos


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Barmecidal, Barmecide, airy, apparitional, appearing, autistic, beholdable, chimeric, clear, clear as crystal, colorable, colored, conceivable, conspicuous, cortical, credible, crystal-clear, deceptive, delusional, delusionary, delusive, delusory, dereistic, detectable, discernible, disclosed, distinct, dreamlike, dreamy, epidermic, erroneous, evident, exomorphic, explicit, exposed, exposed to view, express, exterior, external, extrinsic, factitious, fake, fallacious, false, fantastic, fringe, gilded, hanging out, illusional, illusionary, illusive, illusory, imaginary, in evidence, in full view, in plain sight, in view, indisputable, indubitable, insight, manifest, marked, meretricious, misleading, naked, noticeable, observable, obvious, open, open to view, open-and-shut, ostensible, out, outcropping, outer, outermost, outlying, outmost, outside, outstanding, outward, outward-facing, palpable, patent, perceivable, perceptible, peripheral, perspicuous, phantasmagoric, phantasmal, phantom, plain, plain as day, plausible, ponderable, prominent, pseudo, public, reasonable, recognizable, revealed, roundabout, seeable, seeming, self-deceptive, self-deluding, self-evident, self-explaining, self-explanatory, sham, showing, specious, spectral, superficial, supposititious, surface, tangible, tinsel, to be seen, unactual, unambiguous, unclouded, unconcealed, undisguised, unequivocal, unfounded, unhidden, unmistakable, unreal, unsubstantial, viewable, visible, visionary, visual, witnessable
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