Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or characteristic of being unctuous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being unctuous, in any sense.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. smug self-serving earnestness

Etymologies

unctuous” + “-ness” (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I make this with leftover oxtail because its unctuousness is well-suited for ravioli.

    Recipes for Oxtail Braised in Sherry & Oxtail Ravioli in Leek-Mushroom Broth

  • Praising moderators is the lowest and most vile form of unctuousness on the planet.

    Moderators

  • He publicly excoriated the film director Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, House of Flying Daggers) and the artist Cai Guo Qiang (the man whose firework dragon failed to ignite on the Thames at the millennium) for creating the opening ceremony, which he termed "a visual crap-pile of phony affection and hypocritical unctuousness . . . an encyclopedia of spiritual subjugation".

    Ai Weiwei: the dissident artist

  • Rarely since the death of Josef Stalin has an intellectual fawned over a tyrant with the unctuousness Alia Brahimi displayed when she welcomed Muammar Gaddafi via video link to the LSE.

    Lord Woolf's conflict of interest at the LSE | Nick Cohen

  • A plate of goulash £4.99 served with a huge mound of perfect rice delivered the required fruity paprika and tomato flavours, the beef was tender and plentiful, and there was a little pot of sour cream on the side to add that stir-through unctuousness.

    Swansea's top 10 budget eats

  • The bizarre navy-blue apron and officious change from high heels to dominatrix flats is the only forlorn remnant of any concept of service, feebly shored up by the unctuousness of the scripted public address announcements.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Some steakhouses like to place a daub of butter on the surface to add unctuousness, sometimes it is even an herbed butter.

    Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn: How to Grill Great Steakhouse Steaks

  • But his chief Senate antagonist, played by Garry Shandling, turns out to be the puppet of unscrupulous rival weapons-maker Justin Hammer, played by Sam Rockwell with the perfect ratio of unctuousness to menace.

    'Iron Man 2' Is So Money (And Totally Knows It)

  • He lubricated unctuousness with his own personal brand of smiling smarm.

    Night of the Living Fred (Updated): James Wolcott

  • My guest, a skeptical visitor from metropolitan San Francisco, was won over by the foie gras with smoked bread “because the bitterness of the bread was nice against the unctuousness of the foie.”

    Exurban Excellence

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