Definition of unctuous in English:


Line breaks: unc¦tu|ous
Pronunciation: /ˈʌŋ(k)tjʊəs


  • 2(Chiefly of minerals) having a greasy or soapy feel.
    More example sentences
    • Still, the lure of any luxury item - whether it be Beluga caviar, Dom Perignon champagne or an unctuous blob of sea-urchin roe - springs partly from its cost.



More example sentences
  • ‘Neither pots nor pans, nor dish nor spoon should be spared,’ he announced unctuously.
  • He and his foreign minister have unctuously said that ‘force is always the last resort.’
  • As one settles in amid the eminently tasteful pine green and deep brown colour scheme, one is instantaneously attended to by the most unctuously helpful staff.


More example sentences
  • It is every thing that one could hope for in a dessert wine, complex flavours (a veritable fruit bowl of exotic fruits), unctuousness, sweetness without being cloying thanks to a hint of noble rot.
  • An assembly of fresh wild mushrooms was heavily scented with dried ceps, the cheese had been employed with restraint, adding unctuousness to the sauce, and interesting secondary flavour.
  • Maybe not, but what gratifying editorial unctuousness… Will I blurb a book because its editor implores me charmingly?


late Middle English (in the sense 'greasy'): from medieval Latin unctuosus, from Latin unctus 'anointing', from unguere 'anoint'.

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