What does obsequious mean?

Definitions for obsequious
əbˈsi kwi əsob·se·quious

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word obsequious.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. bootlicking, fawning, obsequious, sycophantic, toadyishadjective

    attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery

  2. obsequiousadjective

    attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner

    "obsequious shop assistants"


  1. obsequiousadjective

    Obedient, compliant with someone else's orders or wishes.

  2. obsequiousadjective

    Excessively eager to please or to obey all instructions; fawning, subservient.

  3. obsequiousadjective

    of or pertaining to obsequies, funereal

  4. Etymology: From obsequiosus, from obsequium, from obsequor, from ob + sequor (see sequel).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. OBSEQUIOUSadjective

    Etymology: from obsequium, Latin.

    Adore not so the rising son, that you forget the father, who raised you to this height; nor be you so obsequious to the father, that you give just cause to the son to suspect that you neglect him. Francis Bacon, Advice to Villiers.

    At his command th’ up-rooted hills retir’d
    Each to his place; they heard his voice, and went
    Obsequious. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    I follow’d her; she what was honour knew,
    And with obsequious majesty, approv’d
    My pleaded reason. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. viii.

    A genial cherishing heat acts so upon the fit and obsequious matter, as to organize and fashion it according to the exigencies of its own nature. Boyle.

    His servants weeping,
    Obsequious to his orders, bear him hither. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    The vote of an assembly, which we cannot reconcile to public good, has been conceived in a private brain, afterwards supported by an obsequious party. Jonathan Swift.

    Your father lost a father;
    That father his; and the surviver bound
    In filial obligation, for some term,
    To do obsequious sorrow. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.


  1. obsequious

    Obsequious refers to an excessive willingness to serve or please others, often to the point of being overly submissive, fawning, or submissive. It often implies a lack of self-respect or dignity in attempts to gain favor or approval from someone of higher status.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Obsequiousadjective

    promptly obedient, or submissive, to the will of another; compliant; yielding to the desires of another; devoted

  2. Obsequiousadjective

    servilely or meanly attentive; compliant to excess; cringing; fawning; as, obsequious flatterer, parasite

  3. Obsequiousadjective

    of or pertaining to obsequies; funereal

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Obsequious

    ob-sē′kwi-us, adj. compliant to excess: meanly condescending.—adv. Obsē′quiously.—n. Obsē′quiousness. [Fr.,—L. obsequiosus, compliant, obsequium, compliance.]

Editors Contribution

  1. obsequious

    overly obedient or attentive.

    Being obsequious is also not a good sign.

    Submitted by anonymous on February 22, 2019  

How to pronounce obsequious?

How to say obsequious in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of obsequious in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of obsequious in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of obsequious in a Sentence

  1. Henry David Thoreau, "Walden," the Conclusion:

    Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board.

  2. Peabody Award:

    He's irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious, people open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document.

  3. Walter Raleigh:

    But it is hard to know them from friends, they are so obsequious and full of protestations; for a wolf resembles a dog, so doth a flatterer a friend.

  4. Hunter Biden:

    Vladimir Putin knows I know Vladimir Putin, and Vladimir Putin knows me. And the fact is that this is what is needed on day one, we're in trouble. We're in trouble. This President is shredding our alliances. This President is yielding to Vladimir Putin in ways that are obsequious.

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Translations for obsequious

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"obsequious." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/obsequious>.

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    being essentially equal to something
    • A. repugnant
    • B. lank
    • C. valetudinarian
    • D. tantamount

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