[ bohst ]
/ boʊst /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: boast / boasted / boasting / boasts on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
to speak with exaggeration and excessive pride, especially about oneself.
to speak with pride (often followed by of): He boasted of his family's wealth.
verb (used with object)
to speak of with excessive pride or vanity: He boasts himself a genius.
to be proud in the possession of: The town boasts a new school.
a thing boasted of; a cause for pride: Talent is his boast. It is her boast that she has never betrayed a friend.
exaggerated or objectionable speech; bragging: empty boasts and threats.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of boast

1250–1300; Middle English bost (noun), bosten (v.), of uncertain origin

synonym study for boast

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.


boast·ing·ly, adverbboastless, adjective

Other definitions for boast (2 of 2)

[ bohst ]
/ boʊst /

verb (used with object) Masonry.
to dress or shape (stone) roughly.

Origin of boast

First recorded in 1815–25; of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does boast mean?

To boast is to brag, especially in a way that exaggerates or shows excessive pride about the boaster’s skills, possessions, or accomplishments.

The word boast can also be used as a noun to refer to such a claim, as in He made outrageous boasts about how he once rode a shark.

People most often boast about themselves—their skills, their possessions, or the things that they have accomplished—but a person can also boast about someone else. A parent might boast about their child’s accomplishments, for example.

Someone who is known for boasting or who boasts excessively can be described as boastful.

The word boast can also mean to possess something in a way that’s considered worthy of pride, as in The school boasts a new library and gym. A product may be said to boast a certain feature, as in The new model boasts a 10-inch display. This sense of the word does not imply exaggeration or excessive pride like the primary sense of the word often does.

Example: He boasts about how good he is, but I’ve never actually seen him perform.

Where does boast come from?

The first records of the word boast come from the 1200s. It comes from the Middle English bosten, but its ultimate origin is uncertain.

People who boast are often trying to make their accomplishments or skills seem greater than they actually are. But this isn’t always the case—a person’s boasts may be true. Still, saying that a person boasts usually means that they are thought to lack humility—that they are too prideful.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to boast?

What are some synonyms for boast?

What are some words that often get used in discussing boast?

How is boast used in real life?

Boast is most often used in a somewhat negative way. It typically implies that a person is exaggerating or that they are too prideful.

Try using boast!

Which of the following words could be used to describe someone who is known for boasting

A. braggadocious

B. prideful

C. conceited

D. all of the above

How to use boast in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for boast (1 of 3)

/ (bəʊst) /

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

Derived forms of boast

boaster, nounboasting, noun, adjectiveboastingly, adverb

Word Origin for boast

C13: of uncertain origin

British Dictionary definitions for boast (2 of 3)

/ (bəʊst) /

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

Word Origin for boast

C19: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for boast (3 of 3)

/ (bəʊst) squash /

a stroke in which the ball is hit on to one of the side walls before hitting the front wall
to hit (the ball) in this way or make such a stroke

Derived forms of boast

boasted, adjective

Word Origin for boast

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