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From Middle English blusteren (to wander about aimlessly); however, apparently picking up the modern sense from Middle Low German blüstren (“to blow violently”; compare later Low German blustern, blistern). Related to blow, blast. Compare also Saterland Frisian bloasje (to blow), bruusje (to bluster).



bluster (countable and uncountable, plural blusters)

  1. Pompous, officious talk.
    • 2013 June 22, “Engineers of a different kind”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 70:
      Private-equity nabobs bristle at being dubbed mere financiers. Piling debt onto companies’ balance-sheets is only a small part of what leveraged buy-outs are about, they insist. Improving the workings of the businesses they take over is just as core to their calling, if not more so. Much of their pleading is public-relations bluster.
  2. A gust of wind.
  3. Fitful noise and violence.




bluster (third-person singular simple present blusters, present participle blustering, simple past and past participle blustered)

  1. To speak or protest loudly.
    When confronted by opposition his reaction was to bluster, which often cowed the meek.
  2. To act or speak in an unduly threatening manner.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Edmund Burke
      Your ministerial directors blustered like tragic tyrants.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Thomas More
      He bloweth and blustereth out [] his abominable blasphemy.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Fuller
      As if therewith he meant to bluster all princes into a perfect obedience to his commands.
  3. To blow in strong or sudden gusts.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      And ever-threatening storms / Of Chaos blustering round.


Derived terms[edit]