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[swel-hed] /ˈswɛlˌhɛd/
a vain or arrogant person.
Origin of swellhead
An Americanism dating back to 1835-45; swell + head
Related forms
swellheaded, adjective
swellheadedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for swell-headed
Historical Examples
  • Only don't get swell-headed enough to think you're a man, agin.

    Flying U Ranch B. M. Bower
  • He was dead sure he, for one, wasn't going to make a fool of himself over any swell-headed politician.

    Lonesome Land B. M. Bower
  • "So here's our swell-headed crook of an engineer butting in again," he sneered.

    The Iron Furrow George C. Shedd
Slang definitions & phrases for swell-headed



  1. A conceited person; a person whose head is swollen with pride: She acted like a swellhead after she got the prize (1845+)
  2. Conceit: I was afraid you'd get the swellhead (1867+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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