adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French unctueus, from Medieval Latin unctuosus, from Latin unctus act of anointing, from unguere to anoint Date: 14th century 1. a. fatty, oily b. smooth and greasy in texture or appearance 2. plastic <
fine unctuous clay
3. full of unction; especially revealing or marked by a smug, ingratiating, and false earnestness or spirituality • unctuously adverbunctuousness noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Unctuous — Unc tu*ous (?; 135), a. [F. onctueux, LL. unctuosus, fr. L. unctus anointment, fr. ungere, unctum, to anoint. See {Unguent}.] 1. Of the nature or quality of an unguent or ointment; fatty; oily; greasy. The unctuous cheese. Longfellow. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • unctuous — (adj.) late 14c., oily, from O.Fr. unctueus, from M.L. unctuosus greasy, from L. unctus act of anointing, from pp. stem of unguere to anoint (see UNGUENT (Cf. unguent)). Figurative sense of blandly ingratiating is first recorded 1742, perhaps in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • unctuous — *fulsome, oily, oleaginous, slick, soapy Analogous words: bland, politic, smooth, diplomatic (see SUAVE): obsequious (see SUBSERVIENT) Antonyms: brusque …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • unctuous — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ excessively flattering or ingratiating. DERIVATIVES unctuously adverb unctuousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • unctuous — [uŋk′cho͞o əs] adj. [ME < ML unctuosus, greasy < L unctum, ointment < ungere, to anoint: see UNGUENT] 1. a) of, like, or characteristic of an ointment or unguent; oily or greasy b) made up of or containing fat or oil 2. like oil, soap,… …   English World dictionary

  • unctuous — [[t]ʌ̱ŋktʃuəs[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe someone as unctuous, you are critical of them because they seem to be full of praise, kindness, or interest, but are obviously insincere. [FORMAL] ...the kind of unctuous tone that I… …   English dictionary

  • unctuous — adjective a) Oily or greasy. In a word, after being tried out, the crisp, shrivelled blubber, now called scraps or fritters, still contains considerable of its unctuous properties. b) Rich, lush, intense, with layers of concentrated, soft,… …   Wiktionary

  • unctuous — Greasy or oily. [L. unctuosus, fr. unctio, unction] * * * unc·tu·ous əŋ(k) chə( wə)s, əŋ(k)sh wəs adj rich in oil or fat: FATTY <an unctuous pharmaceutical preparation> * * * unc·tu·ous (ungkґchoo əs) greasy or oily; oleaginous …   Medical dictionary

  • unctuous — I (Roget s IV) modif. 1. [Oily] Syn. greasy, lenitive, unguent; see oily 1 . 2. [Smooth] Syn. plastic, slippery, waxy; see oily 2 , slippery . 3. [Ingratiating] Syn. smooth, suave, insinuating, obsequious; see affected 2 , oily 3 . II (Roget s 3… …   English dictionary for students

  • unctuous — adjective formal too friendly and praising people too much in a way that seems very insincere: There is something smug and unctuous about him. unctuously adverb unctuousness noun (U) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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