Similar words


  • From Middle English fulsum, equivalent to ful- + -some. The meaning has evolved from an original positive connotation "abundant" to a neutral "plump" to a negative "overfed". In modern usage, it can take on any of these inflections. See usage note.
  • The negative sense "offensive, gross; disgusting, sickening" developed secondarily after the 13th century and was influenced by Middle English foul ("foul"). In the 18th century, the word was sometimes even spelled foulsome.

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