Origin of unctuous
Examples from the Web for unctuous
Their righteous outbursts represent an ancient and unctuous form of Kabuki theater.Forget the Wife Beating—Are You Ready for Some Football?|Steve Almond|September 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It was an emotional speech, but a delightfully graceful, rather than unctuous and overblown, one.The Changing Color of the Oscars: '12 Years A Slave' Makes History|Tim Teeman|March 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The memories of a hundred business trips came roaring back as I recalled the unctuous Cinnabon aroma that wafts through airports.The Appeal of Cinnabon Vodka and the Rise of Flavored Vodkas|Daniel Gross|November 22, 2013|DAILY BEAST
But it would not cost you more than one thousand for that, said Balsamo, in his keen yet unctuous voice conveying no emotions.The Mesmerist's Victim|Alexandre Dumas
"The Republican party is dead—dead as a door-nail," broke in an unctuous voice.The Bell in the Fog and Other Stories|Gertrude Atherton
Dripping graced the table, but nobody touched it; it was too ghastly pale for a substitute, too unctuous for anything.The Siege of Kimberley|T. Phelan
The East held itself aloof from him in unctuous self-righteousness, because of his stand in the Mexican War.Children of the Market Place|Edgar Lee Masters
Long Jim had never before been so eloquent, and never before had his voice been so unctuous.The Keepers of the Trail|Joseph A. Altsheler
Word Origin for unctuous
late 14c., "oily," from Old French unctueus, from Medieval Latin unctuosus "greasy," from Latin unctus "act of anointing," from past participle stem of unguere "to anoint" (see unguent).
Figurative sense of "blandly ingratiating" is first recorded 1742, perhaps in part with a literal sense, but in part a sarcastic usage from unction in the meaning "deep spiritual feeling" (1690s), such as comes from having been anointed in the rite of unction. Related: Unctuously; unctuousness.