English Dictionary

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fawning (ˈfɔːnɪŋ) 



  1. excessively anxious to please


View thesaurus entry
= obsequious, crawling, flattering, cringing, abject, grovelling, prostrate, deferential, sycophantic, servile, slavish, bowing and scraping, bootlicking

fawn2 (fɔːn Pronunciation for fawn2


verb (intransitive; often followed by on or upon)

  1. to seek attention and admiration (from) by cringing and flattering
  2. (of animals, esp dogs) to try to please by a show of extreme friendliness and fondness (towards)

Derived Forms

ˈfawner noun
ˈfawning adjective
ˈfawningly adverb
ˈfawningness noun

Word Origin

Old English fægnian to be glad, from fægen glad; see fain


View thesaurus entry
= ingratiate yourself, court, flatter, pander to, creep, crawl, kneel, cringe, grovel, curry favour, toady, pay court, kowtow, brown-nose, bow and scrape, dance attendance, truckle, kiss ass, be obsequious, be servile, lick (someone's) boots, lick (someone's) arse

fawn1 (fɔːn Pronunciation for fawn1



  1. a young deer of either sex aged under one year
    1. a light greyish-brown colour
    2. (as adjective)   ⇒ a fawn raincoat
  2. See in fawn


  1. (of deer) to bear (young)

Derived Forms

ˈfawnˌlike adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old French faon, from Latin fētus offspring; see fetus

Example Sentences Including 'fawning'

A certain amount of fawning is expected from me in consideration of my lift home.
Alex George LOVE YOU MADLY (2002)
Green co-leader Rod Donald said the visa refusal displayed the Government's " fawning foreign policy towards China".
New Zealand Herald (2004)
He is obviously excited by celebrities, and his manner would verge on the uncomfortably fawning if he weren't so genuinely friendly.
Times, Sunday Times (2002)
James Lipton, the host of these Emmy-nominated interviews, has been criticised for his fawning attitude towards his guests.
Times, Sunday Times (2001)
Mary, I know, was still there, because she was fawning over Lady Godetia in the background.
Barnard, Robert The Disposal of the Living
The American network star, Dan Rather, held court in one corner, surrounded by fawning acolytes.
Fergal Keane ALL OF THESE PEOPLE: A Memoir (2005)
They were the creeps and crawlers for whom the teachers (the object of their craven fawning ) had barely disguised dislike.
Misc (1998)
Today he has neither fawning courtiers nor a principality to rule over.
India Today
Vatukin's procession was royal; the more fawning compliments he received, the more contemptuous he looked.
Mark Burnell CHAMELEON (2002)


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