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adjective pomp·ous \ˈpäm-pəs\

Simple Definition of pompous

  • : having or showing the attitude of people who speak and behave in a very formal and serious way because they believe that they are better, smarter, or more important than other people

Full Definition of pompous

  1. 1 :  excessively elevated or ornate <pompous rhetoric>

  2. 2 :  having or exhibiting self-importance :  arrogant <a pompous politician>

  3. 3 :  relating to or suggestive of pomp or splendor :  magnificent

pomp·ous·ly adverb
pomp·ous·ness noun

Examples of pompous

  1. So as the pictures of flooded shanties flicker by on cable news, uptight neatnik Midwestern Lutherans and sensitive northeastern urban sophisticates and pompous media grandees on both coasts express shock at the unexpected squalor of the poverty and bafflement over the slovenly corruption of the civic institutions. —Rob Long, National Review, 26 Sept. 2005

  2. President Warren Harding was an orator, but his bloviations were an army of pompous phrases moving across the landscape in search of an idea. —Harold Evans, New York Times Book Review, 11 Nov. 2001

  3. She never allowed her spirit to become, as, say, Henry Adams did, curdled by long exposure to Washington's tawdry and pompous aspects. —George F. Will, Newsweek, 24 May 1999

  4. She found it difficult to talk about her achievements without sounding pompous.

  5. <the pompous waiter served us in the manner of a person doing some poor soul a great favor>

Origin of pompous

(see pomp)

First Known Use: 15th century

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pompous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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