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[pom-puh s] /ˈpɒm pəs/
characterized by an ostentatious display of dignity or importance:
a pompous minor official.
ostentatiously lofty or high-flown:
a pompous speech.
Archaic. characterized by pomp, or a display of stately splendor or magnificence:
an impressive and pompous funeral.
Origin of pompous
First recorded in 1325-75; Middle English word from Late Latin word pompōsus. See pomp, -ous
Related forms
pompously, adverb
unpompous, adjective
unpompously, adverb
unpompousness, noun
1. pretentious. 2. inflated, turgid, bombastic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pompously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Mr. Beckendorff is in the library, sir," said the old lady, pompously.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • Boche, moreover, pompously agreed to the arrangement in the landlord's name.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • "Call your philosophy to your aid, and be anxious for nothing," said O'Shea, pompously.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • "Something shall be done for you, sir," said the Judge, pompously.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
  • He was too pompously and innocently aware of his own existence to observe that of others.

  • "About a matter that may make him a lot of money," the man explained, pompously.

    The Secret of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • Those who'd learned first pompously passed on what they knew.

    The Pirates of Ersatz Murray Leinster
  • "She 'ain' possessed no reply to dat indictment," he said, pompously.

    P'laski's Tunament Thomas Nelson Page
British Dictionary definitions for pompously


exaggeratedly or ostentatiously dignified or self-important
ostentatiously lofty in style: a pompous speech
(rare) characterized by ceremonial pomp or splendour
Derived Forms
pompously, adverb
pompousness, noun
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 pompously



late 14c., "characterized by exaggerated self-importance," from Old French pompos (14c., Modern French pompeux) and directly from Late Latin pomposus "stately, pompous," from Latin pompa "pomp" (see pomp). More literal (but less common) meaning "characterized by pomp" is attested from early 15c. Related: Pompously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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