empty suit

[ emp-tee soot ]
/ ˈɛmp ti ˈsut /

noun Slang.

an executive, manager, or official regarded as ineffectual, incompetent, or lacking in leadership qualities such as creativity and empathy: Their executive search came up with one empty suit after another.

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Origin of empty suit

First recorded in 1950–55; empty + suit (in the sense “faceless decision maker”)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Idioms and Phrases with empty suit

empty suit

An unimportant person; also, a phony. For example, Don't pay any attention to him—he's just an empty suit, or She acts as though she knows what she's doing, but she's really an empty suit. This graphic expression calls up the image of an empty suit of clothes. [c. 1970]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.