There is an apparent lack of funds here.
A negative balance on a checking account is an example of an apparent lack of funds.
- readily seen; visible
- readily understood or perceived; evident; obvious
- appearing real or true without necessarily being so; 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.
Usage Note: Apparent is related to appear, and when something appears to have a property it may or may not have that property in reality. The adjective apparent can indicate either possibility, as in The effects of the drought are apparent to anyone who sees the parched fields (that is, how they appear is how they are) and His virtues are only apparent (that is, how they appear is not how they are). Some style guides maintain that apparent should not be used before a noun to mean “appearing to be such but not necessarily so,” as in The victim suffered an apparent heart attack, because a heart attack that is only “apparent” is not a heart attack at all. But in practice all readers will understand that an apparent heart attack means “something that appears to have been a heart attack, whether or not it was one.” In our 2015 survey, 80 percent of the Usage Panel found the example above acceptable.
(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.