[ fuhs-chuhn ]
/ ˈfʌs tʃən /


a stout fabric of cotton and flax.
a fabric of stout twilled cotton or of cotton and low-quality wool, with a short nap or pile.
inflated or turgid language in writing or speaking: Fustian can't disguise the author's meager plot.


made of fustian: a fustian coat; fustian bed linen.
pompous or bombastic, as language: fustian melodrama.
worthless; cheap: fustian knaves and dupes.

Nearby words

  1. fussbudget,
  2. fusspot,
  3. fussy,
  4. fustanella,
  5. fustet,
  6. fustic,
  7. fustigate,
  8. fustigatory,
  9. fustinella,
  10. fusty

Origin of fustian

1150–1200; Middle English < Old French fustaigne < Medieval Latin fūstāneum, perhaps a derivative of Latin fūstis stick, cudgel (Late Latin: trunk; cf. fusty), if a translation of Latin xylinus, Greek (Septuagint) xýlina lína cotton, literally, linen from wood; Fostat, a suburb of Cairo, has also been proposed as the source of fūstāneum

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fustian

British Dictionary definitions for fustian


/ (ˈfʌstɪən) /


  1. a hard-wearing fabric of cotton mixed with flax or wool with a slight nap
  2. (as modifier)a fustian jacket
pompous or pretentious talk or writing


cheap; worthless
pompous; bombastic

Word Origin for fustian

C12: from Old French fustaigne, from Medieval Latin fustāneum, from Latin fustis cudgel

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

Word Origin and History for fustian



"thick cotton cloth," c.1200, from Old French fustaigne, from Medieval Latin fustaneum, probably from Latin fustis "staff, stick of wood," probably a loan-translation of Greek xylina lina "linens of wood" (i.e. "cotton"), but the Medieval Latin word also is sometimes said to be from Fostat, town near Cairo where this cloth was manufactured. [Klein finds this derivation untenable.] Figurative sense of "pompous, inflated language" recorded by 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper