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[foo l-suh m, fuhl-] /ˈfʊl səm, ˈfʌl-/

offensive to good taste, especially as being excessive; overdone or gross:
fulsome praise that embarrassed her deeply; fulsome décor.
disgusting; sickening; repulsive:
a table heaped with fulsome mounds of greasy foods.
excessively or insincerely lavish:
fulsome admiration.
encompassing all aspects; comprehensive:
a fulsome survey of the political situation in Central America.
abundant or copious.
excessive or insincere, esp in an offensive or distasteful way: fulsome compliments
(not standard) extremely complimentary
(informal) full, rich or abundant: a fulsome figure, a fulsome flavour, fulsome detail
(archaic) disgusting; loathsome

Middle English compound of ful “full” (see full (adj.)) + -som (see -some (1)). Sense evolved from “abundant, full” (mid-13c.) to “plump, well-fed” (mid-14c.) to “overgrown, overfed” (1640s) and thus, of language, “offensive to taste or good manners” (1660s). Since the 1960s, however, it commonly has been used in its original, favorable sense, especially in fulsome praise. Related: Fulsomely; fulsomeness.


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