[ gran-dee-ohs, gran-dee-ohs ]
See synonyms for: grandiosegrandiosenessgrandiosity on

  1. affectedly grand or important; pompous: grandiose words.

  2. more complicated or elaborate than necessary; overblown: a grandiose scheme.

  1. grand in an imposing or impressive way.

  2. Psychiatry. having an exaggerated belief in one's importance, sometimes reaching delusional proportions, and occurring as a common symptom of mental illnesses, as manic disorder.

Origin of grandiose

First recorded in 1830–40; from French, from Italian grandioso, from Latin grandi(s) “grand” + -ōsus adjective suffix (see -ose1)

synonym study For grandiose

2. Grandiose, showy, ostentatious, pretentious all refer to conspicuous outward display, either designed to attract attention or likely to do so. Grandiose and showy are alike in that they may suggest impressiveness that is not objectionable: the grandiose sweep of the arch; a fresh bouquet of showy zinnias. Grandiose, however, most often implies inflation or exaggeration to the point of absurdity: grandiose, impractical plans; a ridiculously grandiose manner. Showy sometimes suggests a meretricious gaudiness or flashiness: a showy taste in dress. Ostentatious, which refers to behavior or manner clearly designed to impress, also has negative connotations: an ostentatious display of wealth; an assumption of superiority too ostentatious to be ignored. Pretentious, like the preceding term, is always derogatory, implying falseness or exaggeration in claims made or implied: natural and straightforward, not pretentious; pretentious language designed to mask the absence of real content.

Other words for grandiose

Other words from grandiose

  • gran·di·ose·ly, adverb
  • gran·di·ose·ness, gran·di·os·i·ty [gran-dee-os-i-tee], /ˌgræn diˈɒs ɪ ti/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use grandiose in a sentence

  • She saw Ferriday marching grandiosely along the street, with his head bared to the cool moonlight.

    We Can't Have Everything | Rupert Hughes
  • Some of the women throw him money, which he acknowledges by lifting his hat grandiosely.

    Mearing Stones | Joseph Campbell
  • "Lower case," he explained grandiosely, in the naïve vanity of his knowledge.

    Hilda Lessways | Arnold Bennett
  • Kars followed his personal baggage which a quayside porter had taken on to the grandiosely named mail train.

    The Triumph of John Kars | Ridgwell Cullum
  • The present sense is that which has been rather grandiosely called the sense of moral responsibility in literature.

British Dictionary definitions for grandiose


/ (ˈɡrændɪˌəʊs) /

  1. pretentiously grand or stately

  2. imposing in conception or execution

Origin of grandiose

C19: from French, from Italian grandioso, from grande great; see grand

Derived forms of grandiose

  • grandiosely, adverb
  • grandiosity (ˌɡrændɪˈɒsɪtɪ), noun

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