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

Definition of bumptious

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

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Other Words from bumptious

bumptiously adverb
bumptiousness noun

How Should You Use bumptious?

Etymologists believe that bumptious was probably coined, perhaps playfully, from the noun bump plus -tious. (Think of the obtrusive way an overly assertive person might "bump" through a crowd.) When bumptious was first used around 1800, it meant "conceited." Charles Dickens used it that way in David Copperfield: "His hair was very smooth and wavy; but I was informed … that it was a wig … and that he needn't be so 'bounceable'—somebody else said 'bumptious'—about it, because his own red hair was very plainly to be seen behind."

Examples of bumptious in a Sentence

a bumptious young man whose family wealth gave him a sense of entitlement
Recent Examples on the Web George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington, is often seen as a bumptious obstacle to her son’s success. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy," 11 June 2019 There is a tonal ambiguity to the bumptious romantic pursuit that follows, a surprisingly tremulous and fragile air, which may be what dismayed critics who were expecting a more conventional drama. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Revisiting “Moment by Moment,” Lily Tomlin and John Travolta’s Wrongly Despised 1978 Melodrama," 9 Sep. 2019 The brief, bumptious chapters cover roughly a year, and the lead player doesn't come of age so much as rip away childhood's masks. John Domini, Dallas News, "An Italian teenager meets the family she didn't know existed in 'A Girl Returned'," 1 July 2019 The brief, bumptious chapters cover roughly a year, and the lead player doesn’t come of age so much as rip away childhood’s masks. John Domini, Washington Post, "A teenager meets the family she didn’t know existed in ‘A Girl Returned’," 13 June 2019 Tenor Alex Otterburn was a bumptious, aggressive Eddy; Susan Bullock, Allison Cook and Andrew Shore played all the other characters with properly broad strokes. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘The Head & the Load’ and ‘Greek’ Reviews," 10 Dec. 2018 More than a few commentators have noted the contrast between the manager and the bumptious politicians fighting with one another over Brexit. Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times, "World Cup Brings England Together at a Time of Division," 10 July 2018 His threat to pull the U.S. out of NAFTA strikes me, and many others, as the sort of bumptious sound bite geared to stirring enthusiasm among a key class of his constituents. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Trump's tariffs plan will hurt car buyers, automakers," 24 May 2018 Americans are not afraid of bumptious, raucous and robust debate about these matters. Washington Post, "Judge: Assault weapons ban doesn’t violate 2nd Amendment," 6 Apr. 2018

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.

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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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Cite this Entry

“Bumptious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bumptious. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce bumptious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bumptious

disapproving : proud or confident in a loud and rude way that annoys other people

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