pompous

adjective

pomp·​ous ˈpäm-pəs How to pronounce pompous (audio)
1
: excessively elevated or ornate
pompous rhetoric
2
: having or exhibiting self-importance : arrogant
a pompous politician
3
: relating to or suggestive of pomp or splendor : magnificent
pompously adverb
pompousness noun

Examples of pompous in a Sentence

So as the pictures of flooded shanties flicker by on cable news, uptight neatnik Midwestern Lutherans and sensitive northeastern urban sophisticates and pompous media grandees on both coasts express shock at the unexpected squalor of the poverty and bafflement over the slovenly corruption of the civic institutions. Rob Long, National Review, 26 Sept. 2005
President Warren Harding was an orator, but his bloviations were an army of pompous phrases moving across the landscape in search of an idea. Harold Evans, New York Times Book Review, 11 Nov. 2001
She never allowed her spirit to become, as, say, Henry Adams did, curdled by long exposure to Washington's tawdry and pompous aspects. George F. Will, Newsweek, 24 May 1999
She found it difficult to talk about her achievements without sounding pompous. the pompous waiter served us in the manner of a person doing some poor soul a great favor
Recent Examples on the Web Authority figures will be pompous and petty tyrants. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 27 Oct. 2023 To my 21st century ears, the ridiculously loud major chord ending that emerges from the plodding minor key march of the last movement reeks of pompous mediocrity, no matter the intention. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Oct. 2023 One boy, a pompous rich kid planning to spend his holidays in St. Kitts, manages to score a B+. Peter Debruge, Variety, 31 Aug. 2023 The eldest, Jesse, is a pompous hothead whose default response to any insult is light violence and who, despite his persona as a family man, has enjoyed the sort of hard-partying lifestyle that would make early-1970s Led Zeppelin blush. Elizabeth Nelson, New York Times, 30 Aug. 2023 Aidan is written as a sympathetic character — unlike Big, who comes off much more pompous — but still manipulates Carrie from his holier-than-thou perch. Sonia Rao, Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2023 That’s why the big live oak at the cemetery is such a refuge, with nothing but a few pompous stones to block the breeze. Bill Finch, al, 20 July 2023 Now with Eli getting older, Judy is stuck competing for dominance with her brothers: firstborn Jesse, played by Danny McBride in the traditional McBride mold of pompous, all-American dolts; and youngest brother Kelvin (Adam Devine), a youth minister who dresses like a wannabe Bieber. Jessica M. Goldstein, Washington Post, 16 June 2023 There are the clashes of titanic egos and obnoxious celebrity behavior, macrobiotic diets and parades of twentysomething model girlfriends, pompous warm-up exercises and performative IG posts about social causes (in this case, saving the nearly extinct pink dolphins). David Fear, Rolling Stone, 16 June 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

see pomp

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pompous was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near pompous

Cite this Entry

“Pompous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pompous. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

pompous

adjective
pomp·​ous ˈpäm-pəs How to pronounce pompous (audio)
1
: making a show of importance or dignity
a pompous manner
2
: having an overly high opinion of one's importance
a pompous politician
pompously adverb
pompousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on pompous

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!