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Borrowed from French oléagineux, borrowed from Medieval Latin oleāginōsus (“oily”), from olea (“the olive tree or its fruit”).
oleaginous (comparative more oleaginous, superlative most oleaginous)
- Oily, greasy.
- 1707, J[ohn] Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry; or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land. […], 2nd edition, London: […] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for H[enry] Mortlock […], and J[onathan] Robinson […], published 1708, →OCLC:
- […] the use of Linseed-oyl, Tar, or such oleaginous Matter, tends much to their Preservation and Duration.
- 1929, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Disintegration Machine:
- Looking back, it seemed to me that a slight oleaginous mist was still hovering round the chair.
- 2000, Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde, page 677:
- His once-black hair had faded to the color of used steel wool and now covered his bony skull in a peculiar oleaginous fuzz.
- (of manner or speech) Falsely or affectedly earnest; persuasively suave.
- Synonyms: fulsome, smarmy, unctuous
- The oleaginous salesman convinced me to buy a more expensive car.
- 2015 November 1, Hendrik Hertzberg, “That G.O.P. Debate: Two Footnotes”, in The New Yorker:
- Cruz was obviously analogizing Bernie Sanders to the Bolsheviks and Hillary Clinton to the Mensheviks. The oleaginous Texan is an erudite slyboots, but his history is off-kilter.
- 2018 May 9, George F. Will, “Trump is no longer the worst person in government”, in The Washington Post:
- The oleaginous Mike Pence, with his talent for toadyism and appetite for obsequiousness, could, Trump knew, become America’s most repulsive public figure.
- 2023 January 11, Peter Bradshaw, “Tár review – Cate Blanchett is perfect lead in delirious, sensual drama”, in The Guardian, →ISSN:
- She runs a mentoring scholarship programme for women, administered by a tiresome, oleaginous would-be conductor, played by Mark Strong, and there are rumours that this is a source of young women with whom Tár has affairs.
falsely or affectedly earnest; persuasively suave
- English terms borrowed from French
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- English terms borrowed from Medieval Latin
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