- fulsome M.E. compound of ful "full" (see FULL (Cf. full) (adj.)) + -som (see -SOME (Cf. -some)). Sense evolved from "abundant, full" (mid-13c.) to "plump, well-fed" (mid-14c.) to "overgrown, overfed" (1640s) and thus, of language, "offensive to taste or good manners" (1660s). Since the 1960s, however, it commonly has been used in its original, favorable sense, especially in fulsome praise. Related: Fulsomely; fulsomeness.
Etymology dictionary. 2014.
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fulsome — 1. The first meaning of fulsome was ‘copious, abundant’, but it had lost this along with other meanings by the 16c and acquired an unfavourable sense ‘excessive, cloying’, especially with reference to praise or flattery. This meaning remained the … Modern English usage
fulsome — fulsome, oily, unctuous, oleaginous, slick, soapy are comparable when they mean too obviously extravagant or ingratiating to be accepted as genuine or sincere. Fulsome stresses a surfeit of something which in proper measure is not displeasing but … New Dictionary of Synonyms
Fulsome — Ful some, a. [Full, a. + some.] 1. Full; abundant; plenteous; not shriveled. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] His lean, pale, hoar, and withered corpse grew fulsome, fair, and fresh. Golding. [1913 Webster] 2. Offending or disgusting by overfullness, excess … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
fulsome — ► ADJECTIVE 1) complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree. 2) of large size or quantity; generous or abundant: fulsome details. DERIVATIVES fulsomely adverb fulsomeness noun. USAGE Although the earliest sense of fulsome was ‘abundant’,… … English terms dictionary
fulsome — [fool′səm] adj. [ME fulsom, abundant, disgustingly excessive < ful, FULL1 + som, SOME1, but infl. by ful, FOUL] 1. disgusting or offensive, esp. because excessive or insincere [fulsome praise] 2. [apparent revival … English World dictionary
fulsome — index arrant (onerous), bad (inferior), bad (offensive), contemptible, detrimental, excessive … Law dictionary
fulsome — [adj] sickening or excessive behavior adulatory, bombastic, buttery*, canting, cloying, coarse, extravagant, fawning, flattering, glib, grandiloquent, hypocritical, immoderate, ingratiating, inordinate, insincere, magniloquent, mealy mouthed*,… … New thesaurus
fulsome — adjective Etymology: Middle English fulsom copious, cloying, from full + som some Date: 13th century 1. a. characterized by abundance ; copious < describes in fulsome detail G. N. Shuster > < fulsome bird life. The feeder overcrowded Maxine Kumin … New Collegiate Dictionary
fulsome — fulsomely, adv. fulsomeness, n. /fool seuhm, ful /, adj. 1. offensive to good taste, esp. as being excessive; overdone or gross: fulsome praise that embarrassed her deeply; fulsome décor. 2. disgusting; sickening; repulsive: a table heaped with… … Universalium
fulsome — ful•some [[t]ˈfʊl səm, ˈfʌl [/t]] adj. 1) offensive to good taste, esp. as being excessive; overdone: fulsome décor[/ex] 2) disgusting; sickening; repulsive: fulsome mounds of greasy foods[/ex] 3) cvb excessively or insincerely lavish: fulsome… … From formal English to slang