What’s the Word #26 – Unctuous

March 25, 2016 at 12:02 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

The word that I selected today is unctuous. Unctuous is an adjective which has six different definitions.

  1. of, like, or characteristic of an ointment or unguent; oily or grease.
  2. made up of or containing fat or oil.
  3. like oil, soap, or grease to the touch: said of certain minerals.
  4. soft and rich: said of soil.
  5. moldable; as plastic.
  6. characterized by a false show of deep or sincere feeling, as in trying to persuade; too smooth or overly polite in speech, manners, etc.

Forms of the word can also be used as an adverb (unctuously) and a noun (unctuousness).

The origin of the word unctuous are from the 14th century: from Medieval Latin unctuōsus, from Latin unctum – ointment; from ungere – to anoint. 

Example sentences:

  1. Every time I hear one of the unctuous Presidential contenders speak, it makes my stomach churn.
  2. The unctuous feel of tofu makes me hesitant to try it.
  3. The unctuous soil produced the best vegetables I had ever eaten.
  4. The unctuous material was easily made into many different shapes.

Unctuous is one of my favorite words, although I use it primarily in the context of an insincere, sleazy person…in other words, when I refer to used car salesmen, lawyers. and politicians and others of their ilk.


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