objectionably aggressive in offering one's unrequested and unwanted services, help, or advice; meddlesome: an officious person.
marked by or proceeding from such forwardness: officious interference.
Obsolete. ready to serve; obliging.

Origin of officious

1555–65; < Latin officiōsus obliging, dutiful, equivalent to offici(um) office + -ōsus -ous
Related formsof·fi·cious·ly, adverbof·fi·cious·ness, nouno·ver·of·fi·cious, adjectiveo·ver·of·fi·cious·ly, adverbo·ver·of·fi·cious·ness, nounsu·per·of·fi·cious, adjectivesu·per·of·fi·cious·ly, adverbsu·per·of·fi·cious·ness, nounun·of·fi·cious, adjectiveun·of·fi·cious·ly, adverbun·of·fi·cious·ness, noun
Can be confusedofficial officiousofficiate officious

Synonyms for officious

1. interfering, meddling.

Antonyms for officious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for officiousness

Historical Examples of officiousness

  • They are our friends to to such a degree as even to teaze us with their officiousness.

    The History of Louisiana

    Le Page Du Pratz

  • Officiousness is self-seeking dressed up in the uniform of service.

    Practical Ethics

    William DeWitt Hyde

  • Although this seemed a ridiculous piece of officiousness it touched me.

    Dona Perfecta

    B. Perez Galdos

  • But well-meaning, though ignorant, officiousness would not suffer it to be so.

    Robert Burns

    Principal Shairp.

  • Burns is not the only person who has suffered from this sort of officiousness.

    Robert Burns

    Principal Shairp.

British Dictionary definitions for officiousness



unnecessarily or obtrusively ready to offer advice or services
marked by such readiness
diplomacy informal or unofficial
obsolete attentive or obliging
Derived Formsofficiously, adverbofficiousness, noun

Word Origin for officious

C16: from Latin officiōsus kindly, from officium service; see office
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 officiousness



1560s, "zealous, eager to serve," from Latin officiosus "full of courtesy, dutiful, obliging," from officium "duty, service" (see office). Sense of "meddlesome, doing more than is asked or required" had emerged by 1600 (in officiously). An officious lie (1570s) is one told to do good to another person (from Latin mendocium officiosum or French mensonge officieux). Related: Officiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper