One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The quality of being excessively flattering or ingratiating.
unctuousness, smoothness, slickness, oiliness, greasiness, fulsomeness, obsequiousnessView synonyms
- ‘We monks are treated with casual unctuosity by that portion of the citizenry that is neither Indian nor drunk and with utter indifference by that larger portion that is decidedly both.’
- ‘The old bishop was famous for his unctuosity even in that unctuous age.’
- ‘What did mere lack of physical beauty matter to one of his faith and denomination, to one of his social position and excessive unctuosity?’
- ‘We want an oleaginous minister, commonly called oily. We want him distinguished for his unctuosity.’
- ‘His pitfalls have been unctuosity, on the one side, bravado on the other.’
2The quality of being greasy or oily.
- ‘The skin did not recover its natural smoothness and unctuosity, till after several weeks had elapsed.’
- ‘Butter has been found in hollowed trunks of trees, where it had been hid so long, that it was become hard and almost friable, yet not devoid of unctuosity.’
- ‘When concentrated it is of an unctuosity approaching that of oil.’
- ‘The remarkable unctuosity of this plant has caused it to be applied to chaps, and as a pomatum to the hair.’
- ‘It is glycerine rather than glucose which gives a wine that kind of smoothness which might almost be called unctuosity.’
Late Middle English: from medieval Latin unctuositas, formed as unctuous: see -ity.
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