[ uhb-see-kwee-uhs ]
See synonyms for: obsequiousobsequiouslyobsequiousness on Thesaurus.com

  1. characterized by or showing servile obedience and excessive eagerness to please; fawning; ingratiating: an obsequious bow;obsequious servants.

Origin of obsequious

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English, from Latin obsequiōsus, equivalent to obsequi(um) “compliance,” derivative of obsequ(ī) “to comply with” (equivalent to ob- + sequī “to follow”) + -ium + -ōsus; see ob-, -ium, -ous

synonym study For obsequious

1. See servile.

Other words for obsequious

1 cringing, flattering, grovelling, kowtowing, obeisant, oleaginous, servile, subservient, sycophantic, sycophantish, toadying, toadyish
2 deferential, submissive
See synonyms for obsequious on Thesaurus.com

Other words from obsequious

  • ob·se·qui·ous·ly, adverb
  • ob·se·qui·ous·ness, noun
  • o·ver·ob·se·qui·ous, adjective
  • o·ver·ob·se·qui·ous·ly, adverb
  • un·ob·se·qui·ous, adjective
  • un·ob·se·qui·ous·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with obsequious

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use obsequious in a sentence

  • I would then slip the old fellow a bit of silver, as I was bidden, and he would obsequiously depart.

  • Tomlinson was assisted out of the office by the deputy sheriff, the doctor opening the doors obsequiously ahead of them.

    Motor Matt's Mystery | Stanley R. Matthews
  • Several of her menials simultaneously appeared out of invisibility, and one of them hurried obsequiously towards him.

    The Regent | E. Arnold Bennett
  • The house was frequented by all the friends of the host, who were obsequiously effusive in smiles, flattery, and genuflections.

    The Fourth Estate, vol. 2 | Armando Palacio Valds
  • His hat was in his hand, and his body was obsequiously bent, but there was no discomposure in his lifeless voice and manner.

    Audrey | Mary Johnston

British Dictionary definitions for obsequious


/ (əbˈsiːkwɪəs) /

  1. obedient or attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner

  2. rare submissive or compliant

Origin of obsequious

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

Derived forms of obsequious

  • obsequiously, adverb
  • obsequiousness, noun

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