- The definition of apparent is something that is easy to see or comprehend.
A negative balance on a checking account is an example of an apparent lack of funds.
There is an apparent lack of funds here.
- readily seen; visible
- readily understood or perceived; evident; obvious
- appearing (but not necessarily) real or true; seeming
Origin of apparentMiddle English aparaunt ; from Old French aparant ; from Classical Latin apparens, present participle of apparere, appear
- Readily seen; visible: The animal's markings were immediately apparent.
- Readily understood; clear or obvious: The error was apparent to everyone in the audience.
- Appearing as such but not necessarily so; seeming: an apparent advantage.
Origin of apparentMiddle English, from Old French aparant, present participle of aparoir, to appear; see appear.
(comparative more apparent, superlative most apparent)
- 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.