blo·​vi·​ate | \ ˈblō-vē-ˌāt How to pronounce bloviate (audio) \
bloviated; bloviating

Definition of bloviate

intransitive verb

: to speak or write verbosely and windily pundits bloviating on the radio

Other Words from bloviate

bloviation \ ˌblō-​vē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce bloviate (audio) \ noun

What's the connection between Harding and bloviate?

Warren G. Harding is often linked to bloviate, but to him the word wasn't insulting; it simply meant "to spend time idly." Harding used the word often in that "hanging around" sense, but during his tenure as the 29th U.S. President (1921-23), he became associated with the "verbose" sense of bloviate, perhaps because his speeches tended to the long-winded side. Although he is sometimes credited with having coined the word, it's more likely that Harding picked it up from local slang while hanging around with his boyhood buddies in Ohio in the late 1800s. The term probably derives from a combination of the word blow plus the suffix -ate.

Examples of bloviate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And will Washington have the resources to hire someone who can actually compete with Oregon, not just bloviate about academic standards? Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 15 Nov. 2021 Gentry is not the coach to hold hands, bloviate with stern lectures or meticulously guide a young team through the developmental process. Scott Kushner,, 12 Aug. 2020 The result, in almost every sphere of American life, has been bloviating incompetence. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 16 Apr. 2020 Brittany couldn’t go to the range without some guy bloviating at her, spouting his detailed knowledge about what caliber and gun the little lady should have. Jon Caldara, The Denver Post, 19 Dec. 2019 This group, led by Tony Caputo himself, has been bloviating for years. Steve Hartman, CBS News, 26 July 2019 This commencement season is marked not just by bloviating billionaires promising to pay down millions in student loan debt, like Robert Smith did at Morehouse College last week. Dylan Bouscher, The Mercury News, 10 June 2019 By contrast, bloviating pols, hack journalists and garden-variety academics never stop writing books about Churchill. Joe Queenan, WSJ, 20 Dec. 2018 There’s a lot going on here, which leads to a whole lot of gassy exposition to explain it all, including two separate scenes in which two different groups of good guys are tied to chairs while villains bloviate on the intricacies of the plot. Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times, 2 July 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bloviate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of bloviate

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bloviate

perhaps irregular from blow entry 1

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The first known use of bloviate was in 1845

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bloviate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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