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

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Other Words from bloviate

bloviation \ ˌblō-​vē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce bloviation (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 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, "Caldara: I gave a gun and you should too," 19 Dec. 2019 This group, led by Tony Caputo himself, has been bloviating for years. Steve Hartman, CBS News, "They call themselves Old Coots and they have some advice for you," 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, "Political Cartoons: Graduation and Student Debt," 10 June 2019 By contrast, bloviating pols, hack journalists and garden-variety academics never stop writing books about Churchill. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Please, Santa: Not Another Tome About Churchill," 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, "‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’: Paul Rudd is back in busy little sequel," 2 July 2018 That’s a good and under-appreciated quality in our age of bloviated self-promotion. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Coal Cloud, VW Charge, Twitter Passwords: CEO Daily for May 4, 2018," 4 May 2018 When Silicon Valley kicked off its fifth season Sunday night, the HBO tech comedy did so without one of its breakout characters: bloviating, oafish entrepreneur Erlich Bachman, played by T.J. Miller. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "How does HBO's 'Silicon Valley' move on without T.J. Miller?," 25 Mar. 2018 Where other viewers might see talking heads bloviating about various policies, Trump sees people who should be making the policies in real life — or, at least, pushing his in a telegenic way. Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "When heads roll, Trump looks for replacements on TV," 16 Mar. 2018

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.

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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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Cite this Entry

“Bloviate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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