AskDefine | Define fulsome

Dictionary Definition

fulsome adj : unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech; "buttery praise"; "gave him a fulsome introduction"; "an oily sycophantic press agent"; "oleaginous hypocrisy"; "smarmy self-importance"; "the unctuous Uriah Heep" [syn: buttery, oily, oleaginous, smarmy, unctuous]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

Middle English full + some. The meaning has evolved from an original positive connotation "abundant" to a neutral "plump" to a negative "overfed." In modern usage it can take on any of these inflections. See usage note

Adjective

    • abundant; copious
      the fulsome thanks of the war-torn nation lifted our weary spirits
    • fully developed; mature
      her fulsome timbre resonated throughout the hall
  1. excessively flattering (conotes insincerity)
  2. offensive to good taste; tactless;

Usage notes

It is important to recognize that common usage tends toward the negative connotation, and using fulsome as in the primary definition may lead to confusion without contextual prompts.

Synonyms

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Fescennine, Gongoresque, Johnsonian, Rabelaisian, abhorrent, abject, abominable, adulatory, affected, arrant, atrocious, awful, bad, bad-smelling, barfy, base, bawdy, beastly, bedizened, beggarly, below contempt, beneath contempt, big-sounding, blameworthy, bland, blandishing, blarneying, blue, bombastic, brackish, brutal, buttery, cajoling, canting, cheesy, cloying, complimentary, contemptible, convoluted, courtierly, courtly, crude, crummy, debased, declamatory, degraded, deplorable, depraved, despicable, detestable, dire, dirty, disarming, disgusting, dreadful, egregious, elevated, enormous, euphuistic, excessive, execrable, extravagant, exuberant, fair-spoken, fawning, fecal, fetid, filthy, fine-spoken, flagrant, flamboyant, flaming, flashy, flattering, flaunting, forbidding, foul, foul-mouthed, foul-spoken, foul-tongued, frowsty, frowy, frowzy, funky, fusty, gamy, garish, gaudy, glib, grandiloquent, grandiose, grandisonant, grave, graveolent, grievous, gross, gushing, hateful, heinous, hero-worshiping, high, high-flowing, high-flown, high-flying, high-sounding, highfalutin, holier-than-thou, honey-mouthed, honey-tongued, honeyed, horrible, horrid, hypocritical, icky, idolatrous, ignoble, ill-smelling, impure, infamous, ingratiating, inkhorn, insincere, insinuating, ithyphallic, labyrinthine, lamentable, lavish, lewd, lexiphanic, lionizing, little, loathsome, lofty, lousy, low, low-down, lumpen, lurid, maggoty, magniloquent, malodorous, mangy, mawkish, mealy-mouthed, mealymouthed, mean, measly, mephitic, meretricious, miasmal, miasmic, mildewed, mildewy, miserable, moldy, monstrous, musty, nasty, nauseant, nauseating, nauseous, nefarious, nidorous, noisome, notorious, noxious, objectionable, obnoxious, obscene, obsequious, odious, odorous, offensive, oily, oily-tongued, oleaginous, olid, orotund, ostentatious, outrageous, overappreciative, overdone, overelaborate, overinvolved, overpraising, overripe, overwrought, paltry, pecksniffian, pedantic, petty, pharisaical, pitiable, pitiful, poisonous, poky, pompous, poor, pornographic, pretentious, profuse, putrid, rancid, rank, raunchy, reasty, reasy, rebarbative, reechy, reeking, reeky, regrettable, repellent, reprehensible, reptilian, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, rhetorical, ribald, rotten, sad, salacious, sanctimonious, satiating, sating, scabby, scandalous, schlock, scrubby, scruffy, scummy, scurrile, scurrilous, scurvy, sensational, sensationalistic, sententious, shabby, shameful, shocking, shoddy, showy, sickening, slick, slimy, slobbery, small, smarmy, smellful, smelling, smelly, smoking-room, smooth, smooth-spoken, smooth-tongued, smug, smutty, soapy, soft-soaping, soft-spoken, sonorous, sordid, spoiled, squalid, stenchy, stilted, stinking, strong, stuffy, suave, suave-spoken, sulfurous, sultry, sycophantic, tall, terrible, too bad, tortuous, uncensorious, unchaste, unclean, uncritical, uncriticizing, unctuous, unmentionable, unprintable, unrepeatable, unreproachful, vile, villainous, vomity, weevily, wheedling, woeful, worst, worthless, wretched, yucky
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