definitions
  • synonyms

obsequious

[ uhb-see-kwee-uhs ]
/ əbˈsi kwi əs /
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SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR obsequious ON THESAURUS.COM

adjective

characterized by or showing servile complaisance or deference; fawning: an obsequious bow.
servilely compliant or deferential: obsequious servants.
obedient; dutiful.

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RELATED WORDS

Nearby words

obsecration, obsequence, obsequent, obsequent stream, obsequies, obsequious, obsequy, observable, observance, observant, observation

Origin of obsequious

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin obsequiōsus, equivalent to obsequi(um) compliance (obsequ(ī) to comply with (ob- ob- + sequī to follow) + -ium -ium) + -ōsus -ous
SYNONYMS FOR obsequious
1 sycophantic, flattering.
2 cringing, submissive. See servile.
Related forms
Can be confusedobsequies obsequious
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obsequious

British Dictionary definitions for obsequious

obsequious

/ (əbˈsiːkwɪəs) /

adjective

obedient or attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner
rare submissive or compliant
Derived Formsobsequiously, adverbobsequiousness, noun

Word Origin for obsequious

C15: from Latin obsequiōsus compliant, from obsequium compliance, from obsequi to follow, from ob- to + sequi to follow
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

Word Origin and History for obsequious

obsequious


adj.

late 15c., "prompt to serve," from Middle French obséquieux (15c.), from Latin obsequiosus "compliant, obedient," from obsequium "compliance, dutiful service," from obsequi "to accommodate oneself to the will of another," from ob "after" (see ob-) + sequi "to follow" (see sequel). Pejorative sense of "fawning, sycophantic" had emerged by 1590s. Related: Obsequiously; obsequiousness (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper