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1845,[1][2] US, Ohio,[3] from blow (speak idly, boast) + -i- +‎ -ate, by analogy with deviate.


  • (file)


bloviate (third-person singular simple present bloviates, present participle bloviating, simple past and past participle bloviated)

  1. (US) To speak or discourse at length in a pompous or boastful manner.
    • 1845, Huron Reflector, Norwalk, Ohio, 14 Oct. 3/1:[1][2]
      Peter P. Low, Esq., will with open throat…bloviate about the farmers being taxed upon the full value of their farms, while bankers are released from taxation.

Usage notes[edit]

Particularly used of politicians, bloviate has passed in and out of fashion over the centuries, falling out of fashion by end of 19th century, but was popularized in the early 1920s with reference to president Warren G. Harding, again in the 1990s,[3] and then once more during the2000 presidential election, and is currently in popular use.[4]


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  1. 1.0 1.1 Oxford English Dictionary, 1884-1928, and First Supplement, 1933
  2. 2.0 2.1 In Defense of Harding the Bloviator”, Ben Zimmer, Word Routes: Exploring the Pathways of our Lexicon, July 29, 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bloviate”, World Wide Words, Michael Quinion, 13 Mar. 1999.
  4. ^ bloviate” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  • Allan A. Metcalf (2004), Presidential voices: speaking styles from George Washington to George W. Bush, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, “Once More the Bloviator”, pp. 134–135, ISBN 978-0-618-44374-1