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unctuous

[uhngk-choo-uh s] /ˈʌŋk tʃu əs/
adjective
1.
characterized by excessive piousness or moralistic fervor, especially in an affected manner; excessively smooth, suave, or smug.
2.
of the nature of or characteristic of an unguent or ointment; oily; greasy.
3.
having an oily or soapy feel, as certain minerals.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin ūnctuōsus, equivalent to Latin ūnctu(s) act of anointing (ung(uere) to smear, anoint + -tus suffix of v. action) + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
unctuously, adverb
unctuousness, unctuosity
[uhngk-choo-os-i-tee] /ˌʌŋk tʃuˈɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for unctuous
  • When bitten, they collapsed with an unctuous squelch.
  • Dinner specials are described by waiters in the tones of unctuous coroners announcing the results of autopsies.
  • In the testing of unctuous materials that adhere readily to the skin, mesh wire screen may be employed instead of the sleeve.
British Dictionary definitions for unctuous

unctuous

/ˈʌŋktjʊəs/
adjective
1.
slippery or greasy
2.
affecting an oily charm
Derived Forms
unctuosity (ˌʌŋktjʊˈɒsɪtɪ), unctuousness, noun
unctuously, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin unctuōsus, from Latin unctum ointment, from ungere to anoint
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unctuous
adj.

late 14c., "oily," from Old French unctueus, from Medieval Latin unctuosus "greasy," from Latin unctus "act of anointing," from past participle stem of unguere "to anoint" (see unguent).

Figurative sense of "blandly ingratiating" is first recorded 1742, perhaps in part with a literal sense, but in part a sarcastic usage from unction in the meaning "deep spiritual feeling" (1690s), such as comes from having been anointed in the rite of unction. Related: Unctuously; unctuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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unctuous in Medicine

unctuous unc·tu·ous (ŭngk'chōō-əs)
adj.
Containing or composed of oil or fat.


unc'tu·ous·ness or unc'tu·os'i·ty (-ŏs'ĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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