Saturday, March 15, 2014
My Dictionaries Word of the Day: OBSEQUIOUS
Compliant in a servile way.
In the fifteenth century, when the word was first current, 'obsequious' meant merely 'readily compliant', without the association of servility that it acquired a hundred years later. This is the sense in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor (1598), when Falstaff says to Mistress Ford: 'I see you are obsequious in your love', and similarly in Milton's Paradis Lost (1667):
Light issues forth, and at the other dore
Obsequious darkness enters.
This usage was virtually obsolete by the end of the nineteenth century.
from Dunces, Gourmands & Petticoats: 1,300 Words Whose Meanings Have Changed Through the Ages by Adrian Room
Posted by the at 8:23 PM