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  1. characterized by an ostentatious display of dignity or importance: a pompous minor official.
  2. ostentatiously lofty or high-flown: a pompous speech.
  3. Archaic. characterized by pomp, or a display of stately splendor or magnificence: an impressive and pompous funeral.
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Origin of pompous

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English word from Late Latin word pompōsus. See pomp, -ous
Related formspomp·ous·ly, adverbun·pomp·ous, adjectiveun·pomp·ous·ly, adverbun·pomp·ous·ness, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pompous


  1. exaggeratedly or ostentatiously dignified or self-important
  2. ostentatiously lofty in stylea pompous speech
  3. rare characterized by ceremonial pomp or splendour
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Derived Formspompously, adverbpompousness, 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

Word Origin and History for pompous


late 14c., "characterized by exaggerated self-importance," from Old French pompos (14c., Modern French pompeux) and directly from Late Latin pomposus "stately, pompous," from Latin pompa "pomp" (see pomp). More literal (but less common) meaning "characterized by pomp" is attested from early 15c. Related: Pompously.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper