- speech too pompous for an occasion; pretentious words.
- Obsolete. cotton or other material used to stuff garments; padding.
- Obsolete. bombastic.
Origin of bombast
Examples from the Web for bombast
In the midst of all her bombast, I suddenly saw her as the sad, lonely old woman she was.Oswald’s Mother Was a Thoroughly Disagreeable Piece of Work
November 17, 2013
Bombast was trumping originality and critics were at the end of their ropes with it.A ‘Wicked’ Decade: How a Critically Trashed Musical Became a Long-Running Smash
October 30, 2013
A few weeks later the target of his bombast had been expanded to all mental health patients.Amnesty International U.K. Board Chairman Resigns Over Crude Jokes
August 14, 2013
He was to be Iran's moderate president, reflecting public sentiment to avoid the bombast of the erstwhile Ahmadinejad.VIDEO: What Do Israelis Wish For Iranians?
August 5, 2013
The line captures the intriguing paradox that is West, a mélange of petulance, bombast, unintentional—or intentional?Praise ‘Yeezus’: Kanye West’s New Album Is an Eclectic Tour de Force
June 15, 2013
The more I see of them the more I get tired of their bombast and their empty talk.A Girl of the Commune
George Alfred Henty
This German-creed sweeps the earth with all the bombast of a war-mad Kaiser.The Sequel
George A. Taylor
The bombast and ignorance shown in some of these is very amusing.Diary in America, Series Two
Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)
After all, what is is, and neither falsehood nor bombast will alter it.The German War
Arthur Conan Doyle
Its boyishness and immaturity, its stiffness and bombast, are perceptible on every page.Tobias Smollett
- pompous and grandiloquent language
- obsolete material used for padding
Word Origin and History for bombast
1560s, "cotton padding," corrupted from earlier bombace (1550s), from Old French bombace "cotton, cotton wadding," from Late Latin bombacem, accusative of bombax "cotton, 'linteorum aut aliae quaevis quisquiliae,' " a corruption and transferred use of Latin bombyx "silk," from Greek bombyx "silk, silkworm" (which also came to mean "cotton" in Medieval Greek), from some oriental word, perhaps related to Iranian pambak (modern panba) or Armenian bambok, perhaps ultimately from a PIE root meaning "to twist, wind." From stuffing and padding for clothes or upholstery, meaning extended to "pompous, empty speech" (1580s).
Also from the same source are Swedish bomull, Danish bomuld "cotton," and, via Turkish forms, Modern Greek mpampaki, Rumanian bumbac, Serbo-Croatian pamuk. German baumwolle "cotton" is probably from the Latin word but altered by folk-etymology to look like "tree wool." Polish bawełna, Lithuanian bovelna are partial translations from German.