fulsome

fulsome, oily, unctuous, oleaginous, slick, soapy are comparable when they mean too obviously extravagant or ingratiating to be accepted as genuine or sincere.
Fulsome stresses a surfeit of something which in proper measure is not displeasing but which in abundance is cloyingly extravagant and offensive. Typically the term is applied to praise, flattery, and compliments, with the intent to suggest that they exceed the bounds of good taste and are lacking in truth and sincerity
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fulsome flattery

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he was bedaubing one of those worthies with the most fulsome praise— Smollett

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the fulsome strains of courtly adulation— Edgeworth

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he could never be made ridiculous, for he was always ready to laugh at himself and to prick the bladder of fulsome praise— Buchany

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Oily and unctuous both suggest the smoothness and blandness of oil.
Oily, as applied to persons and their utterances and acts, carries a strong implication of an offensively ingratiating quality and sometimes suggests a suavity, a benevolence, or a kindliness that is assumed as a mask for evil or dubious ends
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an oily scoundrel

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oily manners

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oily smugness

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only oily and commonplace evasion— Stevenson

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an oily, sycophantic press agent— Rogow

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Unctuous, on the other hand, suggests the assumption, often in hypocrisy, of the tone or manner of one who is grave, devout, or spiritual
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the unctuous grandiloquence of Dickens's Chadband

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the look was, perhaps, unctuous, rather than spiritual, and had, so to speak, a kind of fleshy effulgence . . . . He . . . smiled with more unctuous benignity than everHawthorne

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Mark Twain writes those words with an almost unctuous gravity of conviction— Brooks

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the devastating portrait of the unctuous literary opportunist— Cordell

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Oleaginous is sometimes used in place of oily or unctuous when pomposity is connoted or a mocking note is desired
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the lank party who snuffles the responses with such oleaginous sanctimony— Farrar

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Slick may suggest the assumption of a smooth, ingratiating manner, but it usually stresses the speciousness of that appearance and often imputes sly wily trickiness to the person who assumes it
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this slick type of youngster anticipates exactly how adults will react to him and plays on their sensibilities— Meyer

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a pair of slick operators had given the district a bad name by salting a barren claim— Oscar Lewis

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Soapy comes close to unctuous in its extended sense, but it carries almost no suggestion of hypocrisy: rather it connotes an unduly soft, bland, or ingratiating manner
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soapy supplications for unity— New Republic

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Analogous words: lavish, *profuse, exuberant: *excessive, extravagant: cloying, satiating, sating (see SATIATE): bombastic, grandiloquent, magniloquent (see RHETORICAL)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fulsome — 1. The first meaning of fulsome was ‘copious, abundant’, but it had lost this along with other meanings by the 16c and acquired an unfavourable sense ‘excessive, cloying’, especially with reference to praise or flattery. This meaning remained the …   Modern English usage

  • Fulsome — Ful some, a. [Full, a. + some.] 1. Full; abundant; plenteous; not shriveled. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] His lean, pale, hoar, and withered corpse grew fulsome, fair, and fresh. Golding. [1913 Webster] 2. Offending or disgusting by overfullness, excess …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fulsome — ► ADJECTIVE 1) complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree. 2) of large size or quantity; generous or abundant: fulsome details. DERIVATIVES fulsomely adverb fulsomeness noun. USAGE Although the earliest sense of fulsome was ‘abundant’,… …   English terms dictionary

  • fulsome — M.E. compound of ful full (see FULL (Cf. full) (adj.)) + som (see SOME (Cf. some)). Sense evolved from abundant, full (mid 13c.) to plump, well fed (mid 14c.) to overgrown, overfed (1640s) and thus, of language, offensive to taste or good manners …   Etymology dictionary

  • fulsome — [fool′səm] adj. [ME fulsom, abundant, disgustingly excessive < ful, FULL1 + som, SOME1, but infl. by ful, FOUL] 1. disgusting or offensive, esp. because excessive or insincere [fulsome praise] 2. [apparent revival …   English World dictionary

  • fulsome — index arrant (onerous), bad (inferior), bad (offensive), contemptible, detrimental, excessive …   Law dictionary

  • fulsome — [adj] sickening or excessive behavior adulatory, bombastic, buttery*, canting, cloying, coarse, extravagant, fawning, flattering, glib, grandiloquent, hypocritical, immoderate, ingratiating, inordinate, insincere, magniloquent, mealy mouthed*,… …   New thesaurus

  • fulsome — adjective Etymology: Middle English fulsom copious, cloying, from full + som some Date: 13th century 1. a. characterized by abundance ; copious < describes in fulsome detail G. N. Shuster > < fulsome bird life. The feeder overcrowded Maxine Kumin …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • fulsome — fulsomely, adv. fulsomeness, n. /fool seuhm, ful /, adj. 1. offensive to good taste, esp. as being excessive; overdone or gross: fulsome praise that embarrassed her deeply; fulsome décor. 2. disgusting; sickening; repulsive: a table heaped with… …   Universalium

  • fulsome — ful•some [[t]ˈfʊl səm, ˈfʌl [/t]] adj. 1) offensive to good taste, esp. as being excessive; overdone: fulsome décor[/ex] 2) disgusting; sickening; repulsive: fulsome mounds of greasy foods[/ex] 3) cvb excessively or insincerely lavish: fulsome… …   From formal English to slang

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