Intrude vs Obtrude

  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Both words are in our WR dictionary, so if you have a question about the difference in usage you'll have to give us an example for context.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Intrude is a very common word. Typically, you walk into a room and realise you’re interrupting some deep discussion or other kind of interaction, so you say: Sorry to intrude, but……

    Obtrude is a very uncommon word, although its adjective, obtrusive (and even more so the opposite, unobtrusive) is very common.

    In your examples, only intrude works.
     

    Tyrion Lann

    Senior Member
    INDIA -Hindi
    Ngram just shows how frequently a word has been used for a limited period. I can't seem to see what Google Ngram has to do with the meaning of words.
    What I know is, the verb Obtrude is used when something becomes too noticeable - in a unwanted way, but this meaning, however as per my knowledge, can't interpret the example given in the dictionary.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Ngram just shows how frequently a word has been used for a limited period. I can't seem to see what Google Ngram has to do with the meaning of words.
    What I know is, the verb Obtrude is used when something becomes too noticeable - in a unwanted way, but this meaning, however as per my knowledge, can't interpret the example given in the dictionary.
    The word means essentially the same as intrude (trude is from Latin meaning to push, ob- is attached to roots and means "toward,'' "to,'' "on,'' "over,'' "against'') when used in the context of someone's effect on another's privacy (to disturb). The Ngrams just indicate that obtrude is a pretty rare word. Are you planning to use it in your own writing?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    No, I was just reading it for better understanding.
    Anyway, thanks everyone.
    :thumbsup:
    I think you will find quite a few instances where two words exist and one is dominant, even when they convey the same sense, because one was "preferred", for whatever reason, over time, by the speakers of English. (The time element is often a useful piece of information one can discern in the Ngram plots - e.g., some words start out as two separate words, then get hyphenated and then become one word.)
     
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    Tyrion Lann

    Senior Member
    INDIA -Hindi
    Thanks, JulianStuart.
    Well, with this thread, I crossed the benchmark of 500 posts on this forum. This forum helped my thoughts a lot in being able to express themselves. Though, it is still bobbing and listing in the great Ocean of the language, but I feel the journey has just begun.
    Thank you everyone _/\_
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I will put in simple words my opinion of "obtrude".

    Obtrude is such an obscure word that it fails miserably in its efforts to communicate. Most people will scratch their heads in confusion if they hear it.

    If your purpose is to communicate, chose another word.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Exactly. I don’t think I’ve ever had occasion to write the word obtrude until today (and I’ve worked with words all my life). Hence my comments in #5.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    What I know is, the verb Obtrude is used when something becomes too noticeable - in a unwanted way, but this meaning, however as per my knowledge, can't interpret the example given in the dictionary.
    This is an AE comment. I have known the word "intrude" for several decades. I did not know the word "obtrude" even existed until I read this thread.

    In AE we say "unobtrusive" (subtle, un-noticeable), but never "obtrusive" or "obtrude".

    I won't bother learning what "obtrude" means or how to use it, because even if I knew those things I would never use it. I would assume people would not understand.
     
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    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    This is an AE comment. I have known the word "intrude" for several decades. I did not know the word "obtrude" even existed until I read this thread.

    In AE we say "unobtrusive" (subtle, un-noticeable), but never "obtrusive" or "obtrude".
    The Ngrams are additional support for my and Lingo's BE comments that obtrude is obscure:D
     
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