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Obsequious means servile, excessively obedient, overly-eager to please in a groveling manner. Obsequious is an adjective, the adverb form is obsequiously and the noun form is obsequiousness.Obsequious enters the English language in the fifteenth century meaning prompt to serve, derived from the Latin word obsequiosus  which means compliant, obedient, and from the Latin word obsequi meaning to accommodate oneself to the will of another. Obsequious behavior goes beyond compliance or obedience, it carries an unseemly connotation.


The show was declared to be “too obsequious” and not funny and even “bof” – the expression which goes with a Gallic shrug of the shoulders. (The Independent)

It even sparked a protest group, Occupy 50 Best, which railed against its “opaque, obsequious ranking, where nationalism trumps quality, sexism trumps diversity and the spotlight is on the celebrity chef.” (Japan Today)

As Alexander Hamilton, summoning his reading of history and human nature, warned: “Of those men who have overturned the liberty of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by playing an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.” (The Atlantic Magazine)

As soon as they set foot outside their mismanaged countries, they become obsequious lenders and beggars. (The Caribbean News)

Also, Washington had always abhorred overly obsequious tributes to his character — he had suffered his share — and therefore instructed that he be “interred in a private manner, without parade or funeral oration.” (The Lebanon Daily News)

There was some obsequious bowing and extravagant strutting, plenty of hands-across-the-mouth giggling, occasional whispering in Cantonese. (The South China Morning Post)

The key behind his success is T K Neelan, his loyal and obsequious manservant, who sees no ill behind his master’s actions till it is almost too late to turn back. (The Ceylon Daily News)