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Origin of officious
SYNONYMS FOR officious
words often confused with officious
Official can also be an adjective, and that’s when it’s sometimes confused with officious (which is always an adjective). Like many commonly misunderstood words, officious simply looks and sounds as if it could be a synonym for the word it’s confused with—in this case, official.
Given the meaning of official as a noun, it’s not surprising that its adjective senses relate to authority or authorization—for example, “relating to a position of authority” ( the official sovereignty of the queen ); “issued authoritatively” ( waiting for official instructions ); “authorized to act in a designated capacity” ( the project’s official spokesperson ).
Could the adjective officious be that much different? Well, to borrow one of the preceding examples, if you were “waiting for official instructions,” the last thing you’d want is for someone to show up and give you “ officious instructions.” Why? Because officious people rarely have any official authority whatsoever. In fact, what makes them officious is their inclination to be meddlesome and interfering in a self-appointed sort of way. Officious people deliver unsolicited advice, direction, and services regardless of what may or may not be appropriate, and especially without regard for the wishes of those on the receiving end of their “assistance.”
So, if someone shows up to give you officious instructions, by all means wait for the official instructions instead!
OTHER WORDS FROM officious
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH officiousofficial, officious (see confusables note at the current entry)
Words nearby officious
Example sentences from the Web for officious
Catton never shows, she tells, wagging on in the most officious way.
His likely successor, Ayman al-Zawahri, is cold, plodding, and officious.
This last filled out a response to an imaginary indictment of an officious Crown-Prosecutor.Somehow Good|William de Morgan
What will not jealousy, goaded on by officious and injudicious friendship, do?
Col. Pray, my good Lord, let me attend this officious gentleman, I beseech you do.Clarissa, Or The History Of A Young Lady, Volume 8|Samuel Richardson
I must go down to this officious Peer—Who the devil sent for him?Clarissa Harlowe, Volume 9 (of 9)|Samuel Richardson
The officious man in the blue cap on the dock had shouted "All aboard!"Janice Day|Helen Beecher Long