adjectiveEtymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French unctueus, from Medieval Latin unctuosus, from Latin unctus act of anointing, from unguere to anoint Date: 14th century 1.a.fatty, oilyb. smooth and greasy in texture or appearance 2.plastic<fine unctuous clay> 3. full of unction; especially revealing or marked by a smug, ingratiating, and false earnestness or spirituality • unctuouslyadverb • unctuousnessnoun
adj. 1 (of behaviour, speech, etc.) unpleasantly flattering; oily. 2 (esp. of minerals) having a greasy or soapy feel; oily. Derivatives: unctuously adv. unctuousness n. Etymology: ME f. med.L unctuosus f. L unctus anointing (as UNCTION)
Unctuous Unc"tu*ous (?; 135), a. [F. onctueux, LL. unctuosus, fr. L. unctus anointment, fr. ungere, unctum, to anoint. See Unguent.] 1. Of the nature or quality of an unguent or ointment; fatty; oily; greasy. ``The unctuous cheese.'' --Longfellow. 2. Having a smooth, greasy feel, as certain minerals. 3. Bland; suave; also, tender; fervid; as, an unctuous speech; sometimes, insincerely suave or fervid. -- Unc"tu*ous*ly, adv. -- Unc"tu*ous*ness, n.
1. If you describe someone as unctuous, you are critical of them because they seem to be full of praise, kindness, or interest, but are obviously insincere. (FORMAL) ...the kind of unctuous tone that I've heard often at diplomatic parties.ADJ [disapproval] 2. If you describe food or drink as unctuous, you mean that it is creamy or oily. (FORMAL) ADJ