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Walter Mitty

noun, plural Walter Mittys.
an ordinary, timid person who is given to adventurous and self-aggrandizing daydreams or secret plans as a way of glamorizing a humdrum life.
Origin of Walter Mitty
from the title character of James Thurber's short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (1939)
Related forms
Walter Mittyish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Walter Mitty

noun phrase

An unimpressive person who regularly has daydreams of glory: Walter Cronkite is a Walter Mitty in reverse

[1939+; fr the title character in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a story by James Thurber]

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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Idioms and Phrases with Walter Mitty

Walter Mitty

A person, generally quite ordinary or ineffectual, who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs. For example, He's a Walter Mitty about riding in a rodeo but is actually afraid of horses. This term comes from James Thurber's short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1939), describing just such a character.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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