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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Leading Hollywood actors were fulsome in their praise for the director at Thursday night's tribute.
▪ But as aspiring authors know, there is more to a blockbuster than a fulsome blurb.
▪ Colin was fulsome in his praise of the role of finance directors in delivering a near impossible set of financial reforms.
▪ He paid fulsome tribute to his attractive, blonde secretary.
▪ Hearing her hesitant giggle, and then her fulsome laughter, made me smile with wet eyes.
▪ Inevitably he was drawn into historical references in his rather fulsome descriptions of sites such as Furness Abbey.
▪ The tribute may sound fulsome, but Modigliani showed exceptional appreciation of nascent ability.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Fulsome \Ful"some\, a. [Full, a. + -some.]

  1. Full; abundant; plenteous; not shriveled. [Obs.]

    His lean, pale, hoar, and withered corpse grew fulsome, fair, and fresh.

  2. Offending or disgusting by overfullness, excess, or grossness; cloying; gross; nauseous; esp., offensive from excess of praise; as, fulsome flattery.

    And lest the fulsome artifice should fail Themselves will hide its coarseness with a veil.

  3. Lustful; wanton; obscene; also, tending to obscenity. [Obs.] ``Fulsome ewes.''
    --Shak. -- Ful"some*ly, adv. -- Ful"some*ness, n.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

mid-13c., "abundant, plentiful," Middle English compound of ful "full" (see full (adj.)) + -som "to a considerable degree" (see -some (1)). Perhaps a case of ironic understatement. Sense extended to "plump, well-fed" (mid-14c.), then "arousing disgust" (similar to the feeling of having over-eaten), late 14c. Via the sense of "causing nausea" it came to be used of language, "offensive to taste or good manners" (early 15c.); especially "excessively flattering" (1660s). Since the 1960s, however, it commonly has been used in its original, favorable sense, especially in fulsome praise. Related: Fulsomely; fulsomeness.\n


a. 1 offensive to good taste, tactless, overzealous, excessive. 2 excessively flattering (connoting insincerity). 3 abundant, copious. 4 Fully developed, mature.


adj. 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" [syn: buttery, oily, oleaginous, smarmy, unctuous]


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Usage examples of "fulsome".

Listening to such fulsome praise was seductive, like having a sloe-eyed dancer sway before you while the tambours and pandouras poured forth a passionate tune.

Karitas - noting everything - would shout for joy over an extra quarter-inch on an arm raise, offering fulsome congratulations and calling in Selah or Curopet, insisting Shannow repeat the move.

The maize porridge was unsalted and unflavored pap, and the portion no more than three spoonfuls, but the Captain expected fulsome acknowledgment of his generosity.

Upon women of all classes and ages he exerts without trying a charm the consciousness of which would have turned any head less constant than his own, and with their fulsome adoration he was pleased none the less for perceiving its real value.

Caesar stood surrounded by delighted patricians, accepting their fulsome compliments for his taste and imagination.

Always the sun grew larger and hotter above the fuming swamps that teemed with a crasser life, with a more fulsome vegetation.

Kai said, disclaiming their fulsome compliments, "and, of course, we don't know how the polar region or the southern tip have changed with tectonic action .

Sitting between Jennifer and Dave, Paul was glancing around the hall, only half listening to the chairmans fulsome introduction of the evenings keynote speaker, when he was hit by the probe.

Howbeit, as the beer well sodden in the brewing, and stale, is clear and well coloured as muscadel or malvesey, or rather yellow as the gold noble, as our pot-knights call it, so our ale, which is not at all or very little sodden, and without hops, is more thick, fulsome, and of no such continuance, which are three notable things to be considered in that liquor.

His nominating speech went on for almost an hour, but the applause greeting it was not Particularly fulsome.