fan·​far·​o·​nade ˌfan-ˌfer-ə-ˈnād How to pronounce fanfaronade (audio)
-ˈnäd How to pronounce fanfaronade (audio)
: empty boasting : bluster

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You Can Brag About Your Knowledge of Fanfaronade

If we tell you that fanfaronade is what fanfarons do, you'll easily guess that fanfaron means "braggart." Both "fanfaron" (a fairly uncommon word found in unabridged dictionaries) and "fanfaronade" derive from "fanfarrón," a Spanish word for a boaster that probably developed in imitation of the verbal claptrap blared by blowhards. "Fanfarrón" gave Spanish speakers fanfarronada, which the French borrowed with the spelling "fanfaronnade"; English speakers further modified the French term into "fanfaronade" in the mid-1600s. Some etymologists believe English speakers borrowed "fanfaron" directly from Spanish, but others think that word also passed through French before reaching our language. It isn't clear whether "fanfaron" and "fanfaronade" are directly related to the similar "fanfare" or if that term arose as yet another transliteration of the sound of a showy or pompous display.

Examples of fanfaronade in a Sentence

all his talk of how he would easily win the boxing match turned out to be so much fanfaronade

Word History


French fanfaronnade, from Spanish fanfarronada, from fanfarrón braggart

First Known Use

1652, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fanfaronade was in 1652


Dictionary Entries Near fanfaronade

Cite this Entry

“Fanfaronade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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