• synonyms


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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unofficious

Historical Examples of unofficious

  • It was true, as Cecilia had said, that for an unofficious man it was a singular position.

    Roderick Hudson

    Henry James

  • Towards the community she stood as an unofficious and unostentatious missionary and educator.

British Dictionary definitions for unofficious


  1. unnecessarily or obtrusively ready to offer advice or services
  2. marked by such readiness
  3. diplomacy informal or unofficial
  4. obsolete attentive or obliging
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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 unofficious



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper