obsequious

If you disapprove of the overly submissive way someone is acting — like the teacher's pet or a celebrity's assistant — call them by the formal adjective obsequious.

There are many words in the English language for a person or an action that is overly obedient and submissive. Obsequious people are usually not being genuine; they resort to flattery and other fawning ways to stay in the good graces of authority figures. An obsequious person can be called a bootlicker, a brownnoser or a toady. You can also say that someone gives an obsequious bow, a gesture that means, "your wish is my command."

Definitions of obsequious
  1. adjective
    attempting to win favor from influential people by flattery
    synonyms: bootlicking, fawning, sycophantic, toadyish
    insincere
    lacking sincerity
  2. adjective
    attentive in an ingratiating or servile manner
    obsequious shop assistants”
    Synonyms:
    servile
    submissive or fawning in attitude or behavior
Commonly confused words

In Defense of "Obsequious"

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn takes issue with the College Board's inclusion of obsequious in a list of words you won't see on the redesigned SAT.

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