bump·​tious ˈbəm(p)-shəs How to pronounce bumptious (audio)
: presumptuously, obtusely, and often noisily self-assertive : obtrusive
bumptiously adverb
bumptiousness noun

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How Should You Use bumptious?

While we've uncovered evidence dating bumptious to the beginning of the 19th century, the word was uncommon enough decades later that Edward Bulwer-Lytton included the following in his 1850 My Novel: "'She holds her head higher, I think,' said the landlord, smiling. 'She was always—not exactly proud like, but what I calls Bumptious.' 'I never heard that word before,' said the parson, laying down his knife and fork. 'Bumptious indeed, though I believe it is not in the dictionary, has crept into familiar parlance, especially amongst young folks at school and college.'" The word is, of course, now in "the dictionary"; ours notes that it comes from the noun bump and the -tious of fractious.

Examples of bumptious in a Sentence

a bumptious young man whose family wealth gave him a sense of entitlement
Recent Examples on the Web So, to the loud and bumptious anti-Biden chorus that blames him for everything bad, there is no equally loud and bumptious pro-Biden answering chorus speaking as one and giving him credit for everything good. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 18 Sep. 2023 Bailey is suitably bumptious but effortful as Harry, but the drama suffers most with the underwritten and over-emoting Holly and Anna. David Benedict, Variety, 20 June 2023 These dragons are not awaiting a human slayer, a bumptious avatar of St. George. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2023 The soaring office walls, stripped of Young’s bumptious archaeology (including his vertical herd of taxidermy), had been repainted in the dull buttercream of Capitol Hill bureaucracy. Dan Zak, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Sep. 2022 The Apollon Musagète’s textures switched easily and impressively between the bumptious rhythmic ostinati and delicate, atmospheric harmonic effects answered by Ohlsson’s deft upper-register playing. Lukas Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Oct. 2022 His whirlwind 20-hour Los Angeles journey, part of a six-day, coast-to-coast tour, is better remembered for the Kremlin boss’ bumptious antics than for his talks with President Eisenhower at the White House and at Camp David. Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bumptious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


bump entry 1 + -tious (as in fractious)

First Known Use

1801, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bumptious was in 1801


Dictionary Entries Near bumptious

Cite this Entry

“Bumptious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bumptious. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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