Conspicuous Details

In general, the word conspicuous is an adjective that means attracting attention and standing out, so someone or something is visible. You can also use it to describe something notable, distinguished, or easily recognized. Here are some examples of how to use this word in a sentence:

  • She was conspicuously pale after hearing the shocking news.
  • The bird has conspicuous blue feathers.
  • The report contained a conspicuous finding that involved the correlation between antioxidants and reducing inflammation.
  • The witness hid behind the wall, trying not to appear conspicuous.

In legal terms, conspicuous refers to a written or presented term that a reasonable person would notice it. Often the courts will determine whether a term is considered "conspicuous." The written item can refer to text or clause in a contract, on a sign, or language used in a record.

In economics, the word conspicuous is commonly used in the term conspicuous consumption. This term means spending money on luxury goods and services to showcase economic power. People with income and accumulated wealth who practice conspicuous consumption are displaying their successes through the purchases they make. The goal is often to maintain or gain a certain social status.

Example Of Conspicuous

Within the context of law, conspicuous content often refers to terms or clauses within contracts that are obvious or easy to see. When deciding in court whether something is conspicuous, the following are examples of what the court will consider:

  • A heading in capitals equal to or greater in size than the surrounding text
  • A heading in contrasting type, color, or font to the surrounding text
  • Text that is set off from the surrounding text by symbols

With conspicuous consumption, people with wealth will display their economic power to envoke envy from others with similar statuses. Examples include:

  • Deliberately giving charitable donations for recognition or social prestige.
  • Having leisure time to engage in luxury services like getting massages and spending time at the spa.
  • Buying a house that is twice the size required for your family to live comfortably.
  • Having multiple luxury brand cars.

History Of Conspicuous

The word conspicuous originates in the 1540s from Latin words. Conspicuus, meaning visible, attracting attention, and striking. Secondly, the word conspicere meaning to observe, look at, and notice.

The word conspicuous consumption was made famous in 1899 by Thorstein Vebeln in his published writing titled "The Theory of the Leisure Class." Vebeln is a Norwegian-American economist and sociologist. In his publication, he stated that the leisure class must show the wealth they possess through "conspicuous consumption" and "conspicuous waste." An example he used was by lighting "a cigar occasionally with a thousand-dollar bill."

Veblen claims that technologies that increased industrial efficiency allow people in business to obtain necessities with less work. This situation allows them to focus on spending that shows their wealth, even though items are not required. In the United States, an example of conspicuous consumption trends related to housing started in the 1950s when nuclear families began building houses larger than required.

Conspicuous vs. Perspicuous

While the word conspicuous describes something easy to see or obvious, perspicuous refers to language that is easy to understand. Perspicuous means something is expressed clearly.

Conspicuous vs. Suspicious

Someone who is conspicuous is noticeable and attracts attention. This attention can be either positive or negative. A conspicuous person isn't always suspicious. A suspicious person can attract attention with their activities that look suspect, but sometimes those activities are not conspicuous.

Suspicious has a negative connotation and refers to something or someone that raises mistrust, suspicion, or fear. It gives reason to imagine ill or negative intentions are afoot. Examples of using suspicious in a sentence include:

  • Doctors must inspect any suspicious lumps that could be cancer.
  • Her daughter is suspiciously hiding her phone.
  • I suspected it was going to rain because of the dark clouds.