fulsomeness

fulsome

[fool-suhm, fuhl-]
adjective
1.
offensive to good taste, especially as being excessive; overdone or gross: fulsome praise that embarrassed her deeply; fulsome décor.
2.
disgusting; sickening; repulsive: a table heaped with fulsome mounds of greasy foods.
3.
excessively or insincerely lavish: fulsome admiration.
4.
encompassing all aspects; comprehensive: a fulsome survey of the political situation in Central America.
5.
abundant or copious.

Origin:
1200–50; Middle English fulsom. See full1, -some1

fulsomely, adverb
fulsomeness, noun
unfulsome, adjective

full, fullness, fulsome, noisome (see usage note at the current entry).


In the 13th century when it was first used, fulsome meant simply “abundant or copious.” It later developed additional senses of “offensive, gross” and “disgusting, sickening,” probably by association with foul, and still later a sense of excessiveness: a fulsome disease; a fulsome meal, replete with too much of everything. For some centuries fulsome was used exclusively, or nearly so, with these unfavorable meanings.
Today, both fulsome and fulsomely are also used in senses closer to the original one: The sparse language of the new Prayer Book contrasts with the fulsome language of Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer. Later they discussed the topic more fulsomely. These uses are often criticized on the grounds that fulsome must always retain its connotations of “excessive” or “offensive.” The common phrase fulsome praise is thus sometimes ambiguous in modern use.
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World English Dictionary
fulsome (ˈfʊlsəm)
 
adj
1.  excessive or insincere, esp in an offensive or distasteful way: fulsome compliments
2.  not standard extremely complimentary
3.  informal full, rich or abundant: a fulsome figure; a fulsome flavour; fulsome detail
4.  archaic disgusting; loathsome
 
usage  The use of fulsome to mean extremely complimentary or full, rich or abundant is common in journalism, but should be avoided in other kinds of writing
 
'fulsomely
 
adv
 
'fulsomeness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fulsome
M.E. compound of ful "full" + -som "some." Sense evolved from "abundant, full" (mid-13c.) to "plump, well-fed" (mid-14c.) to "overgrown, overfed" (1640s) and thus, of language, "offensive to taste or good manners" (1660s). Since the 1960s, however, it commonly has been used in its original, favorable
sense, especially in fulsome praise.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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