officious

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

16th century, from Latin officiōsus (kindly), from officium (service).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

officious (comparative more officious, superlative most officious)

  1. (obsolete) Obliging, attentive, eager to please.
  2. Offensively intrusive or interfering in offering advice and services.

Usage notes[edit]

Readers guessing the meaning of the word officious from context have sometimes guessed that it referred to the excessive bureaucratic formality of officialdom, but its connection to office, official, and the Latin officium (service) is with the kindly and solicitous aspect thereof rather than with the bureaucratic chill. Thus officious is not to be confused with punctilious.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]