an ordinary, timid person who is given to adventurous and self-aggrandizing daydreams or secret plans as a way of glamorizing a humdrum life.
- Walter Mittyish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use Walter Mitty in a sentence
Ben Stiller is Walter Mitty, a man about to lose his job but ready to go on an adventure that reignites a sense of purpose.The best things to do in the D.C. area the week of Sept. 9-15 | Fritz Hahn, Anying Guo, Chris Richards | September 9, 2021 | Washington Post
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens in theaters on Christmas Day.Ben Stiller’s ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ Trailer Released | Rachel Osman | July 30, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Other Idioms and Phrases with Walter Mitty
A person, generally quite ordinary or ineffectual, who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs. For example, He's a Walter Mitty about riding in a rodeo but is actually afraid of horses. This term comes from James Thurber's short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1939), describing just such a character.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.