self-ag·​gran·​diz·​ing ˌself-ə-ˈgran-ˌdī-ziŋ How to pronounce self-aggrandizing (audio)
 also  -ˈa-grən-
: acting or intended to enhance one's power, wealth, position, or reputation
… staggeringly self-aggrandizing greed and theft …William J. Astore
a self-aggrandizing cad bent on gathering for himself whatever spoils he can amass from the public coffers.Paul Beckett
especially : boastful often in disregard of the truth
self-aggrandizing remarks
… the skill of talking about yourself in a natural way without coming off as a self-aggrandizing braggart. Jim Murray
… whose dishonest, self-aggrandizing memoirs adroitly snookered the public … Frank Rich
We hear of the self-aggrandizing fantasies which he told his sisters, as tales to amuse them. Robert Penn Warren
… was publicly suspended with no pay for six months after it emerged that he repeatedly told a self-aggrandizing, false story about being aboard a military helicopter hit by an RPG over Iraq. Kieran Corcoran and Christopher Brennan
-ˌdīz- How to pronounce self-aggrandizing (audio)
 also  -ˌa-grən-ˈdīz-
plural self-aggrandizements
… the construction of monumental buildings for self-aggrandizement. Beatrice Forbes Manz
A native reticence, almost an aversion to anything that might be construed as boasting or self-aggrandizement, is paired with innate optimism, loyalty and a quiet determination. Steven Winn

Examples of self-aggrandizing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The image of Nyad that has emerged in recent weeks, as reported in an in-depth piece by my Times colleague Josh Rottenberg, is of a remarkable athlete with a history of exaggerating her many achievements — a self-aggrandizing scourge of the marathon swimming community. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 3 Sep. 2023 It’s been the same as the rest, self-interested, self-aggrandizing, only with better winter weather. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Aug. 2023 With some actors, the idea that a basically normal businessman might be this innately persuasive could read as self-aggrandizing, even delusional. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 June 2023 The filmmaker mocks the machismo of uniformed service professions via his explicitly gay scenarios and laughs at the self-aggrandizing upper classes with a strenuous flatulence. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2023 Season 3 of the once-great show fell into disarray amid a series of mind-boggling character choices, self-aggrandizing flights of fancy and obnoxiously long and meandering episodes. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 31 May 2023 And Barry’s trip to Los Angeles is something of a self-aggrandizing spiritual quest. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 15 May 2023 In Act 1, where Sondheim and book writer James Lapine imbue fairy-tale figures with urbane neuroses, the two princes meet in the woods for a hyperbolic lament about their eternal, pure-hearted mission: the admirably selfless (read: self-aggrandizing) task of rescuing damsels in distress. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1820, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-aggrandizing was in 1820

Dictionary Entries Near self-aggrandizing

Cite this Entry

“Self-aggrandizing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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