Speak English Salon

Vocab Building – Obsequious ★★★★

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If you want to get ahead with your boss, you might trying being obsequious, which suggests an attitude of inferiority that may or may not be genuine, but that is assumed in order to placate a superior in hopes of getting what one wants (Ex.: a “goody two shoes” whose obsequious behavior made everyone in the class cringe).

While subservient may connote similar behavior, it is more often applied to those who are genuinely subordinate or dependent and act accordingly (Ex.: a timid, subservient child who was terrified of making a mistake).

Servile is a stronger and more negative term, suggesting a cringing submissiveness (Ex.: the dog’s servile obedience to her master).

Slavish, suggesting the status or attitude of a slave, is often used to describe strict adherence to a set of rules or a code of conduct (Ex.: a slavish adherence to the rules of etiquette).


〈態度などが〉こびへつらいを示す, おもねる

an obsequious smile  追従笑い.


屈従する, 卑屈な, こびへつらう, 追従する.


従順な, 忠実な, すなおな, おとなしい, (…の)言うことをよく聞く⦅to …⦆

an obedient dog   忠実な犬

be obedient to the orders   命令に従う


1 奴隷の, 奴隷状態の.

2 奴隷特有の, 奴隷根性の, 卑しい, 卑屈な

servile bow   こびへつらったおじぎ

servile flattery   卑屈なおべっか


1 奴隷の;奴隷的な;奴隷根性の

slavish submission   奴隷的な屈従.

2 卑しい, 卑屈な.

3 猿まね的な, 独創性のない;直訳の.

Note: Obedient 権威に対する従順さ;権威を受け入れていることを表す. Compliant 要求に対する従順さ;拒否できない性格上の弱さを示す. Submissive 不当な要求権威に唯々諾々と従うこと. Subservient 目上の者への卑屈な従順さ.


Author: Aonghas Crowe

Aonghas (pron. "Ennis") Crowe is an author, writer, blogger, and translator. He splits his time between Fukuoka, Japan and Beirut, Lebanon. Read more by Aonghas Crowe at www.aonghascrowe.com

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