Definition of obsequious
: marked by or exhibiting a fawning attentiveness
obsequious was our Word of the Day on 10/01/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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.
Recent Examples of obsequious from the Web
Taking their cue from Pence, the Cabinet secretaries then took turns extolling the president in ways that were widely derided as obsequious.
People here were stunned because Macau has a reputation for obsequious obedience to Beijing as well as chronic corruption, organized crime and limited tolerance for labor unions and other independent organizations.
The special is solicitous, even obsequious, but sometimes revealing anyway.
This gambit was a trap, even if the obsequious TV guy didn’t intend it that way, and Connally easily slipped it.
The pomposity of formal dining, with its obsequious service and obsessive attention to comfort, is meant to show how removed from the world Stan has become.
His paintings of faceless women, made on cardboard by filling in the composition’s negative space, pay an evident, even obsequious homage to Matisse.
Of course, laughter can signal many different things, including attempted wooing, warm affiliation, social dominance (a derisive guffaw) and subordination (an obsequious titter).
The staff is exceptionally warm and friendly, attentive without being obsequious, thanks in part to a system whereby customers are rated on a scale of one to three.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obsequious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Follow Along With the Definition of obsequious
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
What made you want to look up obsequious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).