How to call something/someone that is too visible, more that it/she should or deserves, or more than it is natural and accepted? The word I have in mind is "over-visible". Are over-visible and over-visibility correct/idiomatic words?

I want to say that someone is too visible, as in the following sentence:

Unlike philosophers who suffer from invisibility in the society, sociologists enjoy over-visibility.

Is the use of "over-visibility" in the above sentence correct?

  • 1
    Can you add an example sentence, and maybe clarify your request? There are lots of words that could fit.
    – Em.
    Jun 29, 2018 at 0:27
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    Do you literally mean visible (capable of being seen)? Or do you mean someone who is more popular or famous than they deserve? Maybe you're thinking of overrated
    – wrymug
    Jun 29, 2018 at 0:32
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    What do you mean by "too visible"? Visible is a binary word -- something either can be seen or it can't be seen, period.
    – Andrew
    Jun 29, 2018 at 0:33
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    showy, ostentatious, obtrusive -- take your pick. Jun 29, 2018 at 4:31
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    The short answer is no, over-visible is not idiomatic. This why people are confused about what you mean by "over-visible." Jun 29, 2018 at 14:13

4 Answers 4


The most common term would be overexposure. In such a context, it means what you are trying to say.


It depends what you mean by

too visible

A revealing dress can make the wearer too visible.
If an animal which uses camouflage in the forest is on a beach, it can be too visible.

Possibly the word you are looking for is


which can describe something which has been very visible for too long.

  • What about words over-visible or over-visibility?
    – Sasan
    Jun 29, 2018 at 12:39
  • Have you looked those words up? I don't think they are real words.
    – Peter
    Jun 29, 2018 at 16:59

I think the best word for something that is "too visible" is:


Maybe you're familiar with its antonym inconspicuous, which is normally used to describe someone or something that blends in with the surroundings to the point of being unseen. As you would expect "conspicuous" means that something is very easily seen, attracting notice or attention.

These two words have more depth of meaning than visible and invisible, which solely focus on whether or not something can or cannot possibly be seen. Conspicuous adds the meaning that something is readily noticeable, perhaps more than intended.


With regards to your example, the word "prominent"/"prominence" comes to mind (though it doesn't actually mean too visible, so we'd have to add that in). It's also quite a sophisticated/erudite statement, and so I'd probably phrase it something like:

Unlike philosophers, who suffer a degree of invisibility in society, sociologists enjoy perhaps a little too much prominence.

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