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[uh-fish-uh s] /əˈfɪʃ əs/
objectionably aggressive in offering one's unrequested and unwanted services, help, or advice; meddlesome:
an officious person.
marked by or proceeding from such forwardness:
officious interference.
Obsolete. ready to serve; obliging.
Origin of officious
1555-65; < Latin officiōsus obliging, dutiful, equivalent to offici(um) office + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
officiously, adverb
officiousness, noun
overofficious, adjective
overofficiously, adverb
overofficiousness, noun
superofficious, adjective
superofficiously, adverb
superofficiousness, noun
unofficious, adjective
unofficiously, adverb
unofficiousness, noun
Can be confused
official, officious.
officiate, officious.
1. interfering, meddling.
1. retiring. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for officiously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Chaunge places with me, sir," cried the Lothario, officiously.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • But who is the gentleman who is just going up to them and handing them a tumbler so officiously?

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
  • "The new chief will decide about those things," said Shanklin officiously.

    The Devil's Asteroid Manly Wade Wellman
  • Why have the police been officially—and officiously—searching the house, then?

    The Chestermarke Instinct J. S. Fletcher
  • "Say, I can tell you that right off the reel," declared Bristles, officiously.

    Fred Fenton on the Track Allen Chapman
  • Cato stood at the gate, and came forward, officiously, to help them out.

    The Minister's Wooing Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • In the silence which ensued, Lysander officiously proposed to remove the sign.

  • But take care you are not too suddenly, or too officiously compassionate.

    Clarissa, Volume 6 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • "Oh, I can let you know tomorrow," interrupted Alice, officiously.

    Cashel Byron's Profession George Bernard Shaw
British Dictionary definitions for officiously


unnecessarily or obtrusively ready to offer advice or services
marked by such readiness
(diplomacy) informal or unofficial
(obsolete) attentive or obliging
Derived Forms
officiously, adverb
officiousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin officiōsus kindly, from officium service; see office
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for officiously



1560s, "zealous, eager to serve," from Latin officiosus "full of courtesy, dutiful, obliging," from officium "duty, service" (see office). Sense of "meddlesome, doing more than is asked or required" had emerged by 1600 (in officiously). An officious lie (1570s) is one told to do good to another person (from Latin mendocium officiosum or French mensonge officieux). Related: Officiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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