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boast1

[bohst]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to speak with exaggeration and excessive pride, especially about oneself.
  2. to speak with pride (often followed by of): He boasted of his family's wealth.
verb (used with object)
  1. to speak of with excessive pride or vanity: He boasts himself a genius.
  2. to be proud in the possession of: The town boasts a new school.
noun
  1. a thing boasted of; a cause for pride: Talent is his boast. It is her boast that she has never betrayed a friend.
  2. exaggerated or objectionable speech; bragging: empty boasts and threats.

Origin of boast1

1250–1300; Middle English bost (noun), bosten (v.), of uncertain origin
Related formsboast·ing·ly, adverbboast·less, adjective

Synonym study

1, 2. Boast, brag imply vocal self-praise or claims to superiority over others. Boast usually refers to a particular ability, possession, etc., that may be one of such kind as to justify a good deal of pride: He boasts of his ability as a singer. Brag, a more colloquial term, usually suggests a more ostentatious and exaggerated boasting but less well-founded: He brags loudly of his marksmanship.

boast2

[bohst]
verb (used with object) Masonry.
  1. to dress or shape (stone) roughly.

Origin of boast2

First recorded in 1815–25; of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for boast

boast1

verb
  1. (intr; sometimes foll by of or about) to speak in exaggerated or excessively proud terms of one's possessions, skills, or superior qualities; brag
  2. (tr) to possess (something to be proud of)the city boasts a fine cathedral
noun
  1. a bragging statement
  2. a possession, attribute, attainment, etc, that is or may be bragged about
Derived Formsboaster, nounboasting, noun, adjectiveboastingly, adverb

Word Origin

C13: of uncertain origin

boast2

verb
  1. (tr) to shape or dress (stone) roughly with a broad chisel

Word Origin

C19: of unknown origin

boast3

noun
  1. a stroke in which the ball is hit on to one of the side walls before hitting the front wall
verb
  1. to hit (the ball) in this way or make such a stroke
Derived Formsboasted, adjective

Word Origin

C19: perhaps from French bosse the place where the ball hits the wall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for boast

n.

mid-13c., "arrogance, presumption, pride, vanity;" c.1300, "a brag, boastful speech," from Anglo-French bost "ostentation," probably via Scandinavian (cf. Norwegian baus "proud, bold, daring"), from Proto-Germanic *bausia "to blow up, puff up, swell" (cf. Middle High German bus "swelling," dialectal German baustern "to swell;" Middle Dutch bose, Dutch boos "evil, wicked, angry," Old High German bosi "worthless, slanderous," German böse "evil, bad, angry"), from PIE *bhou-, variant of root *beu-, *bheu- "to grow, swell" (see bull (n.2)).

The notion apparently is of being "puffed up" with pride; cf. Old English belgan "to become angry, offend, provoke," belg "anger, arrogance," from the same root as bellows and belly (n.). Related: Boasted; boasting. An Old English word for "boasting" was micelsprecende, "big talk."

v.

early 14c., "to brag, speak arrogantly;" from the same source as boast (n.). Related: Boasted; boasting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper