fulsomeness


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ful·some

 (fo͝ol′səm)
adj.
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.]

ful′some·ly adv.
ful′some·ness n.
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.fulsomeness - excessive but superficial compliments given with affected charmfulsomeness - excessive but superficial compliments given with affected charm
compliment - a remark (or act) expressing praise and admiration
2.fulsomeness - smug self-serving earnestnessfulsomeness - smug self-serving earnestness  
hypocrisy - insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, "Scott Sumner's general views on macroeconomics are so much in harmony with my own that, in commenting on the present essay, I'm hard pressed to steer clear of the Scylla of fulsomeness without being drawn into a Charybdis of pettifoggery" (Selgin, 2009).
In short, homing in on the banal thwarts the fulsomeness that is an essential property of oral storytelling.
Strangely, for a means of communication based on efficiency, false fulsomeness rules.
This opening movement is built upon unison textures, always well-sustained under Lloyd's encouraging baton, and the upper strings lamented with characteristic Russian fulsomeness.
In another sensitive arena, it is difficult to express the fulsomeness of public contempt for the highhandedness of the Haredi rabbinic court that declared the retroactive annulment of thousands of conversions, mainly of Russian-speaking olim, that had been issued by special courts established by the government and presided over by rabbis from the Zionist, "national religious" sector.