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
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
2The quality of being greasy or oily.
- ‘When concentrated it is of an unctuosity approaching that of oil.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘It is glycerine rather than glucose which gives a wine that kind of smoothness which might almost be called unctuosity.’
- ‘The remarkable unctuosity of this plant has caused it to be applied to chaps, and as a pomatum to the hair.’
Late Middle English: from medieval Latin unctuositas, formed as unctuous: see -ity.
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