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90s Slang You Should Know


[uhngk-choo-uh s] /ˈʌŋk tʃu əs/
characterized by excessive piousness or moralistic fervor, especially in an affected manner; excessively smooth, suave, or smug.
of the nature of or characteristic of an unguent or ointment; oily; greasy.
having an oily or soapy feel, as certain minerals.
Origin of unctuous
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin ūnctuōsus, equivalent to Latin ūnctu(s) act of anointing (ung(uere) to smear, anoint + -tus suffix of v. action) + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
unctuously, adverb
unctuousness, unctuosity
[uhngk-choo-os-i-tee] /ˌʌŋk tʃuˈɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unctuous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The monk thereupon goes into a long and unctuous discourse on all the sad evils to Christendom of a conclave so prolonged.

  • "Good-evening, Marta," boomed the clergyman's unctuous tones.

  • Various specialists, who cared for the health and beauty of her body, had entered and made their unctuous exits.

    The Fighting Chance Robert W. Chambers
  • The old man sat there, as solemn and unctuous as ever he had in his pew at church.

    Americans All Various
  • Mr. Tweedle had come to the desk and offered his hand in his usual conciliatory and unctuous manner.

    That Fortune Charles Dudley Warner
  • A voice, which was unctuous and insinuative, emanated from the figure.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • If the mare won in the coming struggle he claimed her as his own with tears of unctuous joy.

    Boy Woodburn Alfred Ollivant
British Dictionary definitions for unctuous


slippery or greasy
affecting an oily charm
Derived Forms
unctuosity (ˌʌŋktjʊˈɒsɪtɪ), unctuousness, noun
unctuously, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin unctuōsus, from Latin unctum ointment, from ungere to anoint
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 unctuous

late 14c., "oily," from Old French unctueus, from Medieval Latin unctuosus "greasy," from Latin unctus "act of anointing," from past participle stem of unguere "to anoint" (see unguent).

Figurative sense of "blandly ingratiating" is first recorded 1742, perhaps in part with a literal sense, but in part a sarcastic usage from unction in the meaning "deep spiritual feeling" (1690s), such as comes from having been anointed in the rite of unction. Related: Unctuously; unctuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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unctuous in Medicine

unctuous unc·tu·ous (ŭngk'chōō-əs)
Containing or composed of oil or fat.

unc'tu·ous·ness or unc'tu·os'i·ty (-ŏs'ĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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