effusive, fulsome

Fulsome has moved away from its original meaning of “loathsome” and now refers to flattery that is excessive and insincere.

  • Eugenia’s fulsome praise of my baking skills led me to think she was about to ask me for a donation to the bake sale.

Fulsome should not be used to mean “full” or “profuse.” When you want to convey a positive meaning, use a word like profuse, lavish or effusive.

  • Joshua’s parents were effusive in their praise when he obtained a full scholarship to McGill.

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