Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.
Related to conspicuous: conspicuous by absence
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
The lavish expenditure of money or acquisition of expensive items as a public display of one's wealth or financial success. In rapidly developing economies, conspicuous consumption becomes more and more prevalent as a means for those who have done well to flaunt their new economic status.
See also: conspicuous
be conspicuous by (one's) absence
To be noticeably missing from something. You're the loudest one in the class, so of course you're conspicuous by your absence!
conspicuous by (one's) absence
Noticeably missing from something. You're the loudest one in the class, so of course you're conspicuous by your absence!
make (oneself) conspicuous
To draw attention to or make obvious one's presence, influence, or contribution. My little brother can't stand being ignored, so he goes out of his way to make himself conspicuous whenever we're around other people. Having made a name for herself with her auteur directing, the major film producer always makes herself conspicuous in anything she helps create.
*conspicuous by one's absence
Cliché noticeably absent (from an event). (*Typically: be ~; made ~.) How could the bride's father miss the wedding? He was certainly conspicuous by his absence.
make oneself conspicuous
to attract attention to oneself. Please don't make yourself conspicuous. It embarrasses me. Ann makes herself conspicuous by wearing brightly colored clothing.
conspicuous by its absence
Also, conspicuous by one's absence. Glaringly obvious by the fact of not being there. For example, One agenda item concerning publicity is conspicuous by its absence, or The bride's father was conspicuous by his absence. The idea is ancient; it was expressed by the Roman writer Tacitus, concerning the absence of Junia's brother and husband at her funeral procession. [Mid-1800s]
conspicuous by your/its absence
If someone or something is conspicuous by their absence, people notice that they are not there. He played no part in the game and was conspicuous by his absence at the post-match celebrations. Mathematics and science were conspicuous by their absence at the university.
conspicuous by your absenceobviously not present in a place where you should be.
This phrase was coined by Lord John Russell in a speech made in 1859 . He acknowledged as his source for the idea a passage in Tacitus describing a procession of images at a funeral: the fact that those of Cassius and Brutus were absent attracted a great deal of attention.
conˌspicuous by your ˈabsencenot present in a situation or place, when it is obvious that you should be there: When it came to cleaning up afterwards, Anne was conspicuous by her absence.
conspicuous by its absence
Very obvious through nonattendance. This oxymoron, which goes back to ancient Rome, applies to people or objects that attracted attention because they were expected to be present but weren't. An example would be a close relative who either wasn't invited or chose not to attend a family function. Some literary commentators contend that the phrase has become a cliché, but it's now used so rarely, you may—although at your peril—claim its wit to be your own.