Word of the Day Archive
Friday September 29, 2000
officious \uh-FISH-uhs\ , adjective:
Marked by excessive eagerness in offering services or advice where they are neither requested nor needed; meddlesome.
Ian Holm plays a well-meaning but officious lawyer who tries to make the grieving families sue for damages.
-- John Simon, "Minus Four", National Review, February 9, 1998
The guy was an officious twerp, but Luke and Pete were vagrants, and a railroad employee had the right to throw them out.
-- Ken Follett, Code to Zero
Why don't you mind your own business, ma'am? roared Bounderby. "How dare you go and poke your officious nose into my family affairs?"
-- Charles Dickens, Hard Times
Officious comes from Latin officiosus, obliging, dutiful, from officium, dutiful action, sense of duty, official employment, from opus, a work, labor + -ficere, combining form of facere, to do, to make. It is related to official, of or pertaining to an office or public trust.