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Jul 29, 2014
This week's theme
Words that have changed with time

This week's words
harbinger
obsequious

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

obsequious

PRONUNCIATION:
(ob-SEE-kwee-uhs, uhb-)

MEANING:
adjective: Behaving in an ingratiating or servile manner.

ETYMOLOGY:
Earlier the word meant obedient or dutiful, with no connotations of fawning. Over time it has taken a negative turn. From Latin obsequiosus (compliant), from obsequi (to comply), from ob- (to) + sequi (follow), which also gave us obsequy. Earliest documented use: 1447.

USAGE:
"The staff has the sense of hospitality without being obsequious." Bill Clapper; Sushi and Sake Equal A Satisfying Experience;
Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts); Apr 24, 2014.

"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." -Henry David Thoreau

See more usage examples of obsequious in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you're wrong, admit it; Whenever you're right, shut up. -Ogden Nash, poet (1902-1971)

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