bump·​tious | \ ˈbəm(p)-shəs How to pronounce bumptious (audio) \

Definition of bumptious

: presumptuously, obtusely, and often noisily self-assertive : obtrusive

Other Words from bumptious

bumptiously adverb
bumptiousness noun

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 The moment became legendary for many Canadians who relished the sight of our young, charismatic leader imposing his cheery manners on the bumptious American president. Jonathan Kay, WSJ, 25 Feb. 2022 That the bumptious billionaire Donald Trump at the moment looks to be the party’s leader doesn’t help. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, 25 Jan. 2022 Dickie is youngish and elegant, at least by the bumptious standards of Newark mobsters, and when the story begins he’s dealing with two separate problems. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 1 Oct. 2021 Britten’s orchestration brilliantly characterizes the different social strata: oozy string slides and tinkling harps, celesta and glockenspiel for fairyland; winds and strings for the lovers; bumptious lower brass and bassoon for the tradesmen. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 11 Aug. 2021 But if the tech industry’s bumptious history with antitrust enforcement is any lesson, a caretaker who has reluctantly stepped into the spotlight might be preferable to a charismatic leader born to it. Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, 21 Oct. 2020 Donald Trump’s bumptious, boisterous, blustering performance in his first face-to-face debate with Joe Biden changed the trajectory of the presidential race—giving the former vice president a hefty lead. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 15 Oct. 2020 In 1993, the break-out star was Sean Burroughs, a bumptious earthen mound from Long Beach, California. Adam Kuhlmann, Longreads, 15 Apr. 2020 George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington, is often seen as a bumptious obstacle to her son’s success. New York Times, 11 June 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of bumptious

1801, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bumptious

bump entry 1 + -tious (as in fractious)

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The first known use of bumptious was in 1801

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Dictionary Entries Near bumptious

bump supper


bump up

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Cite this Entry

“Bumptious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bumptious. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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