Literally, something oleaginous is oily or greasy.
Figuratively, something or someone oleaginous is overly nice to you and overly willing to serve you, in a way that reminds you of oil or grease.
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Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “an oleaginous grin.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "Her grin was oleaginous.”)
How to use it:
You pick "oleaginous" instead of "oily" or "greasy" when you need to be a little more formal.
This word has a negative tone. It's an insult to call someone oleaginous or call someone's tone, speech, manners, attitude, behavior, or personality oleaginous.
You can also talk about oleaginous hypocrisy, oleaginous sanctimony, oleaginous flattery, oleaginous lies, etc.
All that flattery may have worked on him if you'd slathered it on less oleaginously.
The director's voice exuded such oleaginosity and over-the-top enthusiasm that I had to fight the urge to set the phone down and back away from it slowly.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "oleaginous" means when you can explain it without saying "overly complimentary" or "insincerely nice."
Think of an article, a book, a review, or anything else you've read that had way too much praise for its subject, and fill in the blanks: "(Person's) praise for (something) struck me as distasteful, even oleaginous."
Example: "The reviewer's praise for every little funny moment in the movie struck me as distasteful, even oleaginous."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're playing with some fascinating thematic word lists assembled by Stephen Chrisomalis, an English language expert over at The Phrontistery who kindly gave permission for me to use his work. (Check out his site; you will definitely enjoy it!)
Try a question each day, and see the right answers here the following day--or if you can't wait, follow the link to Stephen's list to dig out the answers yourself. Have fun!
Something amygdaloid is shaped like an almond. What is something arborescent shaped like? How about something capriform? And something medusiform?
Something arborescent is shaped like a tree. Something capriform is goat-shaped, and something medusiform is jellyfish-shaped!
Try this one today:
You might get the impression sometimes that your nation is an angelocracy, a clownocracy, a diabolocracy, a foolocracy, an infantocracy, or a moneyocracy. Most of those are real terms for types of governments or ways of describing leadership. Which one did I just make up, though?
Can't wait until tomorrow for the right answer? Check out Stephen's full list and discussion at the Phrontistery.
A Point Well Made:
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.”
1. A close opposite of OLEAGINOUS is
2. I feel like I need a _____ after being the target of all this oleaginous attention.
A. good soapy shower
B. much better GPS app
C. night of dancing with friends
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
"Oleaginous" takes our previous word "obsequious" to the next level: it helps you express the slippery, greasy ickiness of someone's manners.
"Oleaginous" is related to the word "olive," and it's easy to see why. (Think of how olive oil feels to the touch.) But could you recall why "obsequious" is related to words like "sequel" and "sequence"? If you'd like to check, the explanation is here, under "Meaning."
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