- offensive to good taste, especially as being excessive; overdone or gross: fulsome praise that embarrassed her deeply; fulsome décor.
- disgusting; sickening; repulsive: a table heaped with fulsome mounds of greasy foods.
- excessively or insincerely lavish: fulsome admiration.
- encompassing all aspects; comprehensive: a fulsome survey of the political situation in Central America.
- abundant or copious.
Origin of fulsome
Today, both fulsome and fulsomely are also used in senses closer to the original one: The sparse language of the new Prayer Book contrasts with the fulsome language of Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer. Later they discussed the topic more fulsomely. These uses are often criticized on the grounds that fulsome must always retain its connotations of “excessive” or “offensive.” The common phrase fulsome praise is thus sometimes ambiguous in modern use.
Examples from the Web for fulsome
This occurs even as they proclaim their fulsome concern for “future generations.”It Can Happen Here: Europe’s Screwed Generation and America’s
June 4, 2012
Clemmons was fulsome in his praise for Jews who have taken up residence on territory that Israel captured from Jordan in 1967.The Israeli Right’s New Best Friend
August 25, 2011
Rather, he sees her fulsome interest in sex as a small rebellion against the fundamentalist world that she was born into.The Christian-Right Whistleblower
June 24, 2011
His Empire State colleagues, while tentatively supportive, have been far less than fulsome in their comments.Ground Zero Mosque: Who's For, Who's Against
The Daily Beast
August 17, 2010
He asked Hoover to contribute, and the director did so with fulsome praise for Joe Kennedy.Inside the Kennedy Death Threats
June 14, 2010
He is critical, but not captious; laudatory, but not fulsome.
His praise was as close to fulsome flattery as it could be and not overstep the mark.Cap'n Dan's Daughter
Joseph C. Lincoln
"Blaw his lug," to praise a person in an extravagant or fulsome manner.The Proverbs of Scotland
It was praised with the most fulsome adulation; assailed with the most violent condemnation.The Octopus
No adulation was too fulsome for her, no flattery of her beauty too gross.History of the English People
John Richard Green
- excessive or insincere, esp in an offensive or distasteful wayfulsome compliments
- not standard extremely complimentary
- informal full, rich or abundanta fulsome figure; a fulsome flavour; fulsome detail
- archaic disgusting; loathsome
Word Origin and History for fulsome
Middle English compound of ful "full" (see full (adj.)) + -som (see -some (1)). 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" (1660s). Since the 1960s, however, it commonly has been used in its original, favorable sense, especially in fulsome praise. Related: Fulsomely; fulsomeness.