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

  • adj. Pretentiously impressive; pompous: high-sounding oratory.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having an elevated or moralistic tone.
  • adj. Oratorial or even contrived sounding.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pompous; noisy; ostentatious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Resonant.
  • Of pompous or pretentious import; having an imposing sound: as, high-sounding titles.

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

  • adj. pretentious (especially with regard to language or ideals)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Touch his silly vanity, which he exalts into high-sounding pride — call him a liar, and behold the red animal in him that makes a hand clutching that is quick like the tensing of a tiger's claw, or an eagle's talon, incarnate with desire to rip and tear.

    The Somnambulists

  • He has taken a noble and high-sounding Fijian name and dragged it in the dirt to suit his nefarious purposes.


  • As the Garzon situation demonstrates (and I think EPosner has it right), Garzon was simply seeing what he could get away with vis-a-vis “universal jurisdiction” and so long as his targets matched the wish lists of various members of the academic international law community, they did everything they could to enable his politics with high-sounding pronouncements as to the QED “legality” of his course of action.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Drone Warfare: The Upbeat News About the Obama Administration

  • Was my friend sent to Iraq for high-sounding words or to steal oil?

    Gareth Harris: Why Politicians Love Religion's War on Science

  • That would effectively allow them to by-pass under the radar any direct controversy over the Catholic moral objections, kind of the way that the Soviets used all manner of high-sounding charges against Christians in the old days, when to everyone it was obvious their crime was their faith and nothing more.

    Pres. Obama to rescind "conscience" regulation

  • That this barefooted beachcomber should possess such high-sounding dignity was inconceivable.


  • My guess is Mr. Parsons went to Africa to shoot an elephant, and perhaps some other creatures, and then tried to find some high-sounding rationale for his gambit.

    Wayne Pacelle: CEO Under Fire for Killing African Elephant

  • Jobs, housing, education and health care mean much more to people than do high-sounding promises.

    Philip Seib: Obama Tries Again in the Arab World

  • After a while I barked, a high-sounding bark that just came out on its own.

    To Fetch a Thief

  • Look carefully at what they did and how they did it, and you ' ll see that their effort was designed to box in those on all sides who would rather talk in high-sounding generalities about the deficit than deal with the unpleasant specifics.

    Deficit-Cutting Chairmen Call Washington


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