Obsequious vs Complaisant - What's the difference?

obsequious | complaisant |


In archaic|lang=en terms the difference between obsequious and complaisant

is that obsequious is (archaic) obedient, compliant with someone else's orders or wishes while complaisant is (archaic) polite, showing respect.

As adjectives the difference between obsequious and complaisant

is that obsequious is (archaic) obedient, compliant with someone else's orders or wishes while complaisant is compliant.

obsequious

English

Adjective

(en adjective)
  • (archaic) Obedient, compliant with someone else's orders or wishes.
  • Excessively eager and attentive to please or to obey all instructions; fawning, subservient, servile.
  • * 1927 , (Thornton Wilder), (The Bridge of San Luis Rey) , p. 20
  • Translation falls especially short of this conceit which carries the whole flamboyance of the Spanish language. It was intended as an obsequious flattery of the Condesa, and was untrue.
  • (obsolete) Of or pertaining to obsequies, funereal.
  • *
  • … the survivor bound
    In filial obligation for some term
    To do obsequious sorrow…
  • *
  • Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
    Th’ untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.

    Usage notes

    * In modern usage, not to be confused with obsequies as the “funereal” sense has become obsolete.

    Synonyms

    * (fawning or subservient) fawning, ingratiating, servile, slavish, sycophantic, truckling, people pleaser, kiss-ass

    complaisant

    English

    Adjective

    (en adjective)
  • compliant
  • Willing to do what pleases others.
  • (archaic) polite, showing respect
  • Usage notes

    * (term) should not be confused with its homophone, complacent.

    Derived terms

    * complaisantly