from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A coarse sturdy cloth made of cotton and linen or flax.
  • noun Any of several thick twilled cotton fabrics, such as corduroy, having a short nap.
  • noun Pretentious speech or writing; pompous language.
  • adjective Made of or as if of fustian.
  • adjective Pompous, bombastic, and ranting.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Formerly, a stout cloth, supposed to have been of cotton or cotton and flax.
  • noun In present use, a stout twilled cotton fabric, especially that which has a short nap, variously called corduroy, moleskin, beaverteen, velveteen, thickset, etc., according to the way in which it is finished. See pillow.
  • noun An inflated or turgid style of speaking or writing, characterized by the use of high-sounding phrases and exaggerated metaphors, and running into hyperbole and rant; empty phrasing.
  • noun A potation composed of the yolks of eggs, white wine or other liquor, lemon, and spices.
  • noun Synonyms Turgidness, Rant, etc. See bombast.
  • Made of fustian.
  • Pompous in style; ridiculously tumid; bombastic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A kind of coarse twilled cotton or cotton and linen stuff, including corduroy, velveteen, etc.
  • noun An inflated style of writing; a kind of writing in which high-sounding words are used, above the dignity of the thoughts or subject; bombast.
  • adjective Made of fustian.
  • adjective Pompous; ridiculously tumid; inflated; bombastic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A kind of coarse twilled cotton or cotton and linen stuff
  • noun A class of cloth including corduroy and velveteen
  • noun Pompous, inflated or pretentious writing or speech

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a strong cotton and linen fabric with a slight nap
  • noun pompous or pretentious talk or writing


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French fustaigne, from Medieval Latin fūstānum, fūstiānum, possibly from Latin fūstis, wooden stick, club (translation of Greek xulinos, wood-linen, cotton) or from El Fostat , (El Fustat), a section of Cairo, Egypt.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English fustian, from Old French fustaine, from Medieval Latin fustaneum, probably from Latin fustis ("club; (medieval use) tree trunk").


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  • Others who have a great deal of fire, but have not excellent organs, feel the fore-mentioned motions, without the extraordinary hints; and these we call fustian writers. '

    The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland Cibber, Theophilus, 1703-1758 1753

  • Quarry Bank had also begun weaving, and like many of the mills near here produced a fabric called fustian, also known as

    Travel news, travel guides and reviews | 2009

  • I am much deceived if this be not abominable fustian, that is, thoughts and words ill-sorted, and without the least relation to each other; yet I dare not answer for an audience, that they would not clap it on the stage: so little value there is to be given to the common cry, that nothing but madness can please madmen, and the poet must be of a piece with the spectators, to gain a reputation with them.

    The works of John Dryden, $c now first collected in eighteen volumes. $p Volume 06 John Dryden 1665

  • Why should he deny himself his velvet? it is but a kind of fustian which costs him eighteenpence a yard.

    The Newcomes 2006

  • The former of these two offences differs from the latter by the difference between "fustian" and "gush."

    English Men of Letters: Coleridge 1871

  • And the impertinent patronage of worshippers in "fustian" is at least as offensive as the older-fashioned vulgarity of pride in congregations who "come in their own carriages."

    Jan of the Windmill Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing 1863

  • Why should he deny himself his velvet? it is but a kind of fustian which costs him eighteenpence a yard.

    The Newcomes William Makepeace Thackeray 1837

  • The second rate fustian squeezes out what is interesting in Saxons, Vikings, and Celts, namely, the evidence concerning the ancestry of the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish people.

    Britain 2010

  • This unidentified artist specialized in depictions of Italian peasants wearing jackets, aprons and dresses made from what was then called "genes," fustian cotton named after its assumed city of origin in Genoa, Italy.

    Forever in Blue Jeans Alexa Brazilian 2011

  • Traditional dress, however we define it, is currently pretty rare, though film-makers, no doubt because of the continuing popularity of Roman epics, reached for their togas when Charlton Heston appeared in fustian versions of Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra.

    Coriolanus – review 2012


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  • "Pompous or pretentious talk or writing"

    August 13, 2007

  • n. stout fabric; adj. pompous, worthless

    August 23, 2009

  • "a farrago without fustian" Gilbert Adair translation of Georges Perec's La Disparition

    August 11, 2010

  • He was encased in black fustian which made his legs and arms look likemdrain pipes. Cold Comfort Farm.

    February 21, 2013

  • Likemdrain. Me likemdrain good-good, wordwallah.

    February 21, 2013