Meaning of pompous


A pompous person is arrogant or conceited. He’ll walk into a party with an inflated ego, ready to tell anyone who will listen that “I’m kind of a big deal.”

Today we associate the adjective pompous with self-important jerks. But it’s actually derived from the Old French pompeux, which meant “stately.” And that’s why you can also use pompous to describe something with a lot of ceremonial or stately display — in other words, something surrounded by “pomp and circumstance.”

Definitions of pompous
  1. adjective

    puffed up with vanity

    pompous speech”

    grandiloquent, overblown, pontifical, portentous


    making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction
  2. adjective

    characterized by pomp and ceremony and stately display



Word Family

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