Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
1. Excessively flattering or insincerely earnest. See Synonyms at unctuous.
2. Disgusting or offensive: "With the stink of decaying corpses so near her cave ... suddenly she felt overpowered by the fulsome reek" (Jean Auel).
3. Usage Problem Copious or abundant.
[Middle English fulsom, abundant, well-fed, arousing disgust : ful, full; see full1 + -som, adj. suff.; see -some1.]
Usage Note: The original meaning of fulsome was "copious, abundant." But fulsome is now most often used of remarks that involve excessive praise or ingratiating flattery, as in Their fulsome compliments were viewed as an awkward attempt at winning approval. This narrower application of the word has become its sole meaning for many educated speakers, to the point where a large majority of the Usage Panel disapproves of the use of fulsome to mean simply "full" or "copious." In our 2012 survey, only 19 percent accepted the use of fulsome as a synonym of full in the sentence You can adjust the TV's audio settings for a more fulsome bass in movie soundtracks. Use of the word as a synonym of copious or expansive found only slightly more takers—21 percent accepted The final report will furnish a more detailed and fulsome discussion of the issues involved. The use of fulsome as a simple synonym of praising without a clear indication of inordinacy or insincerity split the Panel nearly down the middle, with 55 percent accepting the example The research director claimed that the product was a major advance that would improve Web access for everyone, and the marketing VP was equally fulsome in her remarks. Thus it may be best to avoid fulsome except where the context unambiguously conveys the idea that the praise in question is excessive or fawning.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. excessive or insincere, esp in an offensive or distasteful way: fulsome compliments.
2. not standard extremely complimentary
3. informal full, rich or abundant: a fulsome figure; a fulsome flavour; fulsome detail.
4. archaic disgusting; loathsome
Usage: The use of fulsome to mean extremely complimentary or full, rich or abundant is common in journalism, but should be avoided in other kinds of writing
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ful•some(ˈfʊl səm, ˈfʌl-)
1. offensive to good taste, esp. as being excessive; overdone: fulsome décor.
2. disgusting; sickening; repulsive: fulsome mounds of greasy foods.
3. excessively or insincerely lavish: fulsome admiration.
4. encompassing all aspects; comprehensive.
5. abundant or copious.
usage: The original meaning of fulsome was “abundant or copious,” but for centuries the word was used almost exclusively in its later senses “offensive,” “disgusting,” and “excessively lavish.” Today, fulsome and its adverb fulsomely are also used in senses closer to the original one: Compare the stark sentences of the final speech with the fulsome language of the first draft.Later they discussed the topic more fulsomely. Because some insist that fulsome must always retain the connotation of “excessive” or “offensive,” the common expression fulsome praise may be ambiguous in modern use.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Adj.||1.||fulsome - unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech; "buttery praise"; "gave him a fulsome introduction"; "an oily sycophantic press agent"; "oleaginous hypocrisy"; "smarmy self-importance"; "the unctuous Uriah Heep"; "soapy compliments"|
insincere - lacking sincerity; "a charming but thoroughly insincere woman"; "their praise was extravagant and insincere"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
adjective extravagant, excessive, over the top, sickening, overdone, fawning, nauseating, inordinate, ingratiating, cloying, insincere, saccharine, sycophantic, unctuous, smarmy (Brit. informal), immoderate, adulatory, gross They have been fulsome in their praise.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
fulsome[ˈfʊlsəm] adj (pejorative)
[praise] → excessif/ive
[manner] → exagéré(e)
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
adj praise, tribute, compliment, manner, tone (= effusive) → überschwänglich; (= exaggerated) → übertrieben; apology, support → uneingeschränkt; his most fulsome praise → sein höchstes Lob; he paid fulsome tribute to her courage → er würdigte ihren Mut uneingeschränkt; she was fulsome in her praise of the children → sie lobte die Kinder überschwänglich
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
fulsome[ˈfʊlsəm] adj (pej) (praise) → esagerato/a, eccessivo/a; (manner) → insincero/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995