obsequious

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj obsequious attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner "obsequious shop assistants"
    • adj obsequious attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Obsequious Of or pertaining to obsequies; funereal. "To do obsequious sorrow."
    • Obsequious Promptly obedient, or submissive, to the will of another; compliant; yielding to the desires of another; devoted. "His servants weeping, Obsequious to his orders, bear him hither."
    • Obsequious Servilely or meanly attentive; compliant to excess; cringing; fawning; as, obsequious flatterer, parasite. "There lies ever in “ obsequious ” at the present the sense of an observance which is overdone, of an unmanly readiness to fall in with the will of another."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • obsequious Promptly obedient or submissive to the will of another; ever ready to obey, serve, or assist; compliant; dutiful.
    • obsequious Hence Servilely complaisant; showing a mean readiness to fall in with the will of another; cringing; fawning; sycophantic.
    • obsequious Synonyms Servile, slavish, sycophantic. See obedience.
    • obsequious Funereal; pertaining to funeral rites.
    • obsequious Absorbed in grief, as a mourner at a funeral.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Obsequious ob-sē′kwi-us compliant to excess: meanly condescending
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Quotations

  • Sir Walter Raleigh
    Sir%20Walter%20Raleigh
    “But it is hard to know them from friends, they are so obsequious and full of protestations; for a wolf resembles a dog, so doth a flatterer a friend.”
  • Washington Irving
    Washington%20Irving
    “Those men are most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad, who are under the discipline of shrews at home.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. obsequiosus, fr. obsequium, compliance, fr. obsequi, fr. obsequi,: cf. F. obséquieux, See Obsequent, and cf. Obsequy
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. obsequiosus, compliant, obsequium, compliance.

Usage

In literature:

I am the officer who arranges the obsequies of nobles below the rank of peers.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
Jack Everton came over from Hexley to attend the dismal obsequies of his sister.
"J.S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 5" by J.S. Le Fanu
No sooner had Seti celebrated his father's obsequies than he set out for war against Southern Syria, then in open revolt.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol XI." by Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
The former is excessively obsequious, and the latter is, in the eyes of the former, a hog.
"Cobwebs From an Empty Skull" by Ambrose Bierce (AKA: Dod Grile)
As they walked down the pier towards the beach, at the dinner-hour, Ruth bowed to a dandiacal man who obsequiously saluted her.
"The Card, A Story Of Adventure In The Five Towns" by Arnold Bennett
But the women of the shop, having an eye to sales, were obsequiously polite to the stranger.
"Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, No. 87, March, 1875" by Various
The classic ushers obsequiously threw open the doors, and led us to our box.
"The Cross of Berny" by Emile de Girardin
Furthermore, the obsequies shall be performed on foot.
"The Common People of Ancient Rome" by Frank Frost Abbott
The obsequies of these personages were grand ceremonials.
"International Weekly Miscellany, Vol. 1, No. 5, July 29, 1850" by Various
So we rose and followed the obsequious official into another apartment.
"Mr. Isaacs" by F. Marion Crawford
An obsequious guard followed in the rear.
"The Lost Ambassador" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
The obsequious grin, and the affected ease of this worthy, do not convey any very favourable impression on his behalf.
"The Mirror Of Literature, Amusement, And Instruction, No. 496" by Various
There was something almost obsequious in her manner to him.
"Uncle Max" by Rosa Nouchette Carey
Preparations for the obsequies were on the grandest scale.
"For Woman's Love" by Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
Seleucia, the second city in the Empire, received the new monarch with an obsequiousness that bordered on adulation.
"The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 6. (of 7): Parthia" by George Rawlinson
Each year every relative punctually celebrated the obsequies, and that was a very festive day.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898, Volume XXI, 1624" by Various
The funeral obsequies of Mr. Tazewell, yesterday, were solemn and impressive.
"Discourse of the Life and Character of the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell" by Hugh Blair Grigsby
It is the restoration of materialism with its paramour, obsequious art.
"Art" by Clive Bell
In the splendid obsequies of the Tsar, nothing was more touching than the placing of a wreath upon his bier by a deputation of peasants.
"A Short History of Russia" by Mary Platt Parmele
To the hasty and obsequious greetings of the landlord De Lacy gave only a short nod and ordered lodging for himself and men.
"Beatrix of Clare" by John Reed Scott
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In poetry:

And hark! I hear the tuneful throng
His obsequies forbid,
He still shall live, shall live as long!—
'As ever dead man did'.
"On the Death of the Right Hounourable ---" by Oliver Goldsmith
ESCARPIN.
What a most obsequious monster!
With his mane he sweeps the floor,
And before her humbly falling,
Kisses her fair feet.
"The Purgatory Of St. Patrick - Act III" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
The jarring states, obsequious now,
View the patriot's hand on high;
Thunder gathering on his brow,
Lightning flashing from his eye.
"Ode To Eloquence " by Henry Carey
What tho' nor friends nor kindred dear,
To grace his obsequies, attend?
His comrades are his brothers here,
And ev'ry hero is his friend!
"The Muffled Drum" by John Mayne
"Glencairn and stout Parkhead were nigh,
Obsequious at their Regent's rein,
And haggard Lindesay's iron eye,
That saw fair Mary weep in vain.
"Cadyow Castle" by Sir Walter Scott
The crisis suited not with pomp, and she
Whose anguish bears the seal of consecration
Had wished his Christian obsequies should be
Thus void of ostentation.
"Obsequies Of Stuart" by John Reuben Thompson

In news:

The amount of obsequious ink that has been spilled over Peter Luger 's mouth-watering porterhouse could fill the Library of Congress, some of it dripping from my very own pen in year's past.
The pedophile was perfectly obsequious.
Her name is Anna Wintour, a name that strikes terror in some, loathing in others, and transforms yet others into obsequious toadies.
While local TV news the nation over continues to take flack for obsequious coverage, our hometown reporter Dan Noyes has fashioned himself into Mayoral Enemy No.
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