What is the word for something which you can guess/tell just by seeing?

Example: Person 1: I got these tattoos when I was young. Person 2: It’s...(the word) without being told. Now they are fading.

  • 1
    Obvious, perhaps? Mar 8, 2021 at 13:49
  • @MichaelHarvey: "Obvious", obviously! Mar 8, 2021 at 13:56
  • Obvious, clear, apparent...
    – stangdon
    Mar 8, 2021 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Obvious is the most natural single word that comes to mind:

1. adjective

If something is obvious, it is easy to see or understand.

But note that you may come across as rude if the exchange was as blunt as:

A: I got these tattoos when I was young

B: That's obvious, now they are fading

As obvious also has a second meaning:

  1. adjective

If you describe something that someone says as obvious, you are being critical of it because you think it is unnecessary or shows lack of imagination.

(Both definitions from Collins.)

So I wouldn't use "it's/that's obvious" as a direct reply to someone, to avoid this 'critical' interpretation. The same applies to some degree with other synonyms of obvious, e.g. self-evident.

For a direct reply to someone, I would probably say "I can tell"/"I could tell":

A: I got these tattoos when I was young

B: I could tell as they're starting to fade now.

Both have pretty much the same meaning, but 'I could tell' implies "I could tell [even before you told me]" whereas 'I can tell' could be 'I can tell [now that you've pointed it out to me]'.

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