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[fuhs-chuh n] /ˈfʌs tʃən/
a stout fabric of cotton and flax.
a fabric of stout twilled cotton or of cotton and low-quality wool, with a short nap or pile.
inflated or turgid language in writing or speaking:
Fustian can't disguise the author's meager plot.
made of fustian:
a fustian coat; fustian bed linen.
pompous or bombastic, as language:
fustian melodrama.
worthless; cheap:
fustian knaves and dupes.
Origin of fustian
1150-1200; Middle English < Old French fustaigne < Medieval Latin fūstāneum, perhaps a derivative of Latin fūstis stick, cudgel (Late Latin: trunk; cf. fusty), if a translation of Latin xylinus, Greek (Septuagint) xýlina lína cotton, literally, linen from wood; Fostat, a suburb of Cairo, has also been proposed as the source of fūstāneum
3. bombast, rant, claptrap. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fustian
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "fustian jacket or not, he had a good head on his shoulders," remarked one.

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • Think of that, you in fustian jackets who grumble after meat.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • But there also seems to be association with Naples; cf. fustian-anapes for Naples fustian.

  • It was dark in the shop, and the smell of fustian absorbed the air.

    Moor Fires

    E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young
  • For I heartily despised all that fustian trumpery of the age.

    Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill
  • That fustian, insincerity, was certainly not one of his faults.

    Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill
  • Yes, there were swells here, ball-room coxcombs in fustian and felt.

    Mystic London: Charles Maurice Davies
  • The rag of fustian had been pressed out, and the water was escaping.

    The Boy Tar Mayne Reid
  • Then he pulled his fustian coat aside and pointed to his side.

    Johnny Ludlow, Third Series

    Mrs. Henry Wood
British Dictionary definitions for fustian


  1. a hard-wearing fabric of cotton mixed with flax or wool with a slight nap
  2. (as modifier): a fustian jacket
pompous or pretentious talk or writing
cheap; worthless
pompous; bombastic
Word Origin
C12: from Old French fustaigne, from Medieval Latin fustāneum, from Latin fustis cudgel
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
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Word Origin and History for fustian

"thick cotton cloth," c.1200, from Old French fustaigne, from Medieval Latin fustaneum, probably from Latin fustis "staff, stick of wood," probably a loan-translation of Greek xylina lina "linens of wood" (i.e. "cotton"), but the Medieval Latin word also is sometimes said to be from Fostat, town near Cairo where this cloth was manufactured. [Klein finds this derivation untenable.] Figurative sense of "pompous, inflated language" recorded by 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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