Definition of obsequious in English:

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Pronunciation: /əbˈsiːkwɪəs/


Obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree: they were served by obsequious waiters
More example sentences
  • They've filled their almost-claustrophobic room with towering flower bouquets and perhaps a few too many obsequious waiters.
  • They're surrounded by heavy linen, sparkling crystal, gleaming silver, obsequious waiters, and an embarrassment of champagne glasses.
  • He was obedient to his Christchurch bosses, but not at all obsequious.
servile, ingratiating, unctuous, sycophantic, fawning, toadying, oily, oleaginous, greasy, grovelling, cringing, toadyish, sycophantish, subservient, submissive, slavish, abject, Uriah Heepish
North American informal brown-nosing
British vulgar slang arse-licking, bum-sucking
North American vulgar slang kiss-ass, ass-kissing



Pronunciation: /əbˈsiːkwɪəsli/
Example sentences
  • Just a little more than a year ago, the Senate obsequiously handed to the President the constitutional authority to declare war.
  • A liveried waiter comes across, bows obsequiously, and asks George if he would care for the salmon.
  • ‘I've always been by your side, Trist,’ Marvin whined obsequiously.


Pronunciation: /əbˈsiːkwɪəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • But in the intervening years, the State Department's refusal to press for reform in that country turned into humiliating obsequiousness.
  • In the past, Percy served as comic relief, a stuffed shirt whose obsequiousness toward authority figures was matched only by his imperiousness toward younger students.
  • Make note of the incoherent speech, grammatical errors, cutesy nicknames with reporters, and crankiness from the president and obsequiousness from the press.


Late 15th century (not depreciatory in sense in early use): from Latin obsequiosus, from obsequium 'compliance', from obsequi 'follow, comply with'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ob|se¦qui|ous

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