Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- A kind of coarse twilled cotton or cotton and linen stuff.
1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, volume 4, page 568:
- Fustian, of which I have found only one entry before 1401, occurs frequently in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It appears to have been a ribbed cloth.
- A class of cloth including corduroy and velveteen.
- Pompous, inflated or pretentious writing or speech.
- Claudius […] has run his description into the most wretched fustian.
2014 March 1, Rupert Christiansen, “English translations rarely sing”, The Daily Telegraph (Review), page R19:
- Anything grandiose or historically based tends to sound flat and banal when it reaches English, partly because translators get stuck between contradictory imperatives: juggling fidelity to the original sense with what is vocally viable, they tend to resort to a genteel fustian which lacks either poetic resonance or demotic realism, adding to a sense of artificiality rather than enhancing credibility.
a kind of coarse twilled cotton or cotton and linen stuff
pompous, inflated or pretentious writing or speech
- Used in the sense of "pompous" since at least the time of Shakespeare. For this shift of meaning, compare bombast.