Definition of obsequious
: marked by or exhibiting a fawning attentiveness
obsequious was our Word of the Day on 10/01/2011. Hear the podcast!
Examples of obsequious in a sentence
But the Democratic presidential nominee is commonly referred to as Elvis, and his running mate as Eddie Haskell, that obsequious weenie from '50s TV. —Guy Trebay, Village Voice, 28 July 1992
He could wear an oxford shirt and necktie and speak the local language, in every sense, and never act obsequious or look as though he felt out of place. —Tracy Kidder, New England Monthly, April 1990
The obsequious villagers touched their caps but sneered behind her back. —“George Sand,” 1980, in V. S. Pritchett: A Man of Letters1985
Nash's other hand flashed forward a lighter with the obsequious speed of a motor salesman. —Ian Fleming, From Russia, With Love, 1957
She's constantly followed by obsequious assistants who will do anything she tells them to.
Did You Know?
An obsequious person is more likely to be a follower than a leader. Use that fact to help you remember the meaning of "obsequious." All you need to do is bear in mind that the word comes from the Latin root sequi, meaning "to follow." (The other contributor is the prefix ob-, meaning "toward.") "Sequi" is the source of a number of other English words, too, including "consequence" (a result that follows from an action), "sequel" (a novel, film, or TV show that follows an original version), and "non sequitur" (a conclusion that doesn’t follow from what was said before).
Synonym Discussion of obsequious
OBSEQUIOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of obsequious for English Language Learners
: too eager to help or obey someone important
Seen and Heard
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