Definitions

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

  • adj. Characterized by excessive self-esteem or exaggerated dignity; pretentious: pompous officials who enjoy giving orders.
  • adj. Full of high-sounding phrases; bombastic: a pompous proclamation.
  • adj. Chracterized by pomp or stately display; ceremonious: a pompous occasion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Affectedly grand, solemn or self-important.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Displaying pomp; stately; showy with grandeur; magnificent.
  • adj. Ostentatious; pretentious; boastful; vainlorious

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Full of or characterized by pomp or showy display; ostentatiously grand, dignified, or magnificent; splendid; stately: as, a pompous triumph; a pompous procession.
  • Exhibiting self-importance or an exaggerated sense of dignity; ostentatiously dignified or self-important; lofty: as, a pompous style; pompous in manners.
  • Synonyms Superb, grand, august, lofty, dignified.—
  • Magisterial, swelling, inflated, bom bastic, grandiloquent, pretentious. That which gives pompous its distinctive character among these words and the words used in defining it is the idea of the display of magnificence for the sake of enhancing, properly or improperly, the dignity, etc., of the person or thing most concerned. A pompous procession gives dignity to a person thus welcomed to a city; a pompous deportment or manner of speech arises from the feeling of one's own importance and the effort to seem what one thinks himself to be. Pompous is used in a good sense now only when applied to public ceremonies or celebrations or the ways of courts.

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

  • adj. characterized by pomp and ceremony and stately display
  • adj. puffed up with vanity

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French pompeux, from Late Latin pompōsus, from Latin pompa, pomp; see pomp.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French pompeux, from Late Latin pomposus, from Latin pompa ("pomp"), from Ancient Greek πομπή (pompē, "a sending, a solemn procession, pomp"), from πέμπω (pempō, "I send"). (Wiktionary)

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