Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Unctuous

Unc′tu-ous

(?; 135)
,
Adj.
[F.
onctueux
, LL.
unctuosus
, fr. L.
unctus
anointment, fr.
ungere
,
unctum
, to anoint. See
Unguent
.]
1.
Of the nature or quality of an unguent or ointment; fatty; oily; greasy.
“The unctuous cheese.”
Longfellow.
2.
Having a smooth, greasy feel, as certain minerals.
3.
Bland; suave; also, tender; fervid;
as, an
unctuous
speech
; sometimes, insincerely suave or fervid.
Unc′tu-ous-ly
,
adv.
Unc′tu-ous-ness
,
Noun.

Webster 1828 Edition


Unctuous

UNC'TUOUS

, a.
1.
Fat; oily; greasy.
2.
Having a resemblance to oil; as the unctuous feel of a stone.

Definition 2021


unctuous

unctuous

English

Adjective

unctuous (comparative more unctuous, superlative most unctuous)

  1. (of a liquid or substance) Oily or greasy.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, ch. 96:
      In a word, after being tried out, the crisp, shrivelled blubber, now called scraps or fritters, still contains considerable of its unctuous properties.
  2. (of a wine, coffee, etc.) Rich, lush, intense, with layers of concentrated, soft, velvety flavor.
    • 1872, Bayard Taylor, Beauty and The Beast; and Tales of Home, ch. 3:
      The halls and passages of the castle were already permeated with rich and unctuous smells, and a delicate nose might have picked out and arranged, by their finer or coarser vapors, the dishes preparing for the upper and lower tables.
  3. (by extension, of a person) Profusely polite, especially unpleasantly so and insincerely earnest.
    • 1857, Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers, Volume the Second, page 14 (ISBN 1857150570)
      Then he thoroughly disliked the tone of Mr. Slope's letter; it was unctuous, false, and unwholesome, like the man.
    • 1919, Stephen Leacock, The Hohenzollerns in America, ch. 8:
      In superior circles, however, introduction becomes more elaborate, more flattering, more unctuous.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations