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


  • IPA(key): /ˈbloʊ.viˌeɪt/
  • (file)


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

  1. (intransitive, US) To speak or discourse at length in a pompous or boastful manner.
    • 14 October 1845, Huron Reflector, Norwalk, Ohio:
      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 the 2000 presidential election.[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 Michael Quinion (13 March 1999), “Bloviate”, in World Wide Words.
  4. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “bloviate”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  • 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