Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to oil.
  • adjective Falsely or smugly earnest; unctuous.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having the qualities of oil; oily; unctuous.
  • Figuratively, effusively and affectedly polite or fawning; sanctimonious; oily.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having the nature or qualities of oil; oily; unctuous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Oily, greasy.
  • adjective of manner or speech Falsely or affectedly earnest; persuasively suave.

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

  • adjective unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech
  • adjective containing an unusual amount of grease or oil

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Middle English oliaginose and from French oléagineux (from Old French), both from Latin oleāginus, of the olive tree, from olea, olive tree, alteration (influenced by oleum, olive oil) of olīva; see olive.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French oléagineux, from Latin oleāginus, from olea ("the olive fruit and tree").

Examples

  • Amanda Platell, in the Daily Mail, wrote of the "tawdry, inexorable decline of Hugh Grant" whom she described as an "oleaginous, womanising lounge lizard".

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote, "If the word oleaginous didn't exist, someone would have to invent it to describe Rahm Emanuel." called him "arrogant, rash and power hungry" and described how he once "sent a rotting fish to a former coworker with whom he had parted ways."

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  • Funny, isn't it, how Coulter drops ridiculous constructions like "oleaginous", but doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word "specious".

    decency

  • This kind of oleaginous 'repentence' is a growth industry for the '00s.

    Crying??!!!

  • To avoid abrasions most all Scandinavian operators use some kind of oleaginous substance.

    Massage and the Original Swedish Movements

  • Boswell, he points out, was vain and lecherous, "oleaginous" in manner and

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  • Rubbish on the floor, a meal on a table, a crisp french fry dipped in still-glistening oleaginous ketchup.

    February « 2009 « Squares of Wheat

  • Joining her was mezzo-soprano Jane Henschel, with a delightfully oleaginous rendering of Clytemnestra that brought the bloodletting adulteress to new heights of malevolence.

    'Elektra' Electrifies in Madrid

  • As physicians we have long relinquished autonomy in the field of science and medicine to the oleaginous interests of industry.

    Qanta Ahmed, MD: Collateral Damage: The Hidden Costs of the Ariel Boycott

  • And just think, if we ever achieve proper reform and a genuinely proportional system, we might see the splitting apart of the big old parties and perhaps a genuinely progressive, genuinely viable alternative to the preening, self serving, oleaginous Labour Party, which has failed everyone in this country who claims a leftist or liberal bent, will emerge.

    Constitutional reform: Alternative currents | Editorial

Comments

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  • It comes from "craie," the French word for "chalk," and "ola," for "oleaginous," or "oily." -- Wikipedia's article about Crayola.

    August 16, 2008

  • Rather like unctuous. I'm not sure which I like better!

    August 16, 2008

  • "Something swirled oleaginously through a huge vat of liquid mud: she saw toothy tentacles slapping at her and scouring the tank." From Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.

    December 5, 2011