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From Old French bombace(cotton, cotton wadding)


bombast (countable and uncountable, plural bombasts)

  1. Originally, cotton, or cotton wool.
    • Lupton
      a candle with a wick of bombast
  2. Cotton, or any soft, fibrous material, used as stuffing for garments; stuffing; padding.
    • Shakespeare
      How now, my sweet creature of bombast!
    • Stubbes
      doublets, stuffed with four, five, or six pounds of bombast at least
  3. (figuratively) High-sounding words; a pompous or ostentatious manner of writing or speaking; language above the dignity of the occasion.



bombast (third-person singular simple present bombasts, present participle bombasting, simple past and past participle bombasted)

  1. To swell or fill out; to pad; to inflate.
    • 1839, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4.[1]:
      Ib. Their doctrine is to be seen in Jacob Behmen's books by him that hath nothing else to do, than to bestow a great deal of time to understand him that was not willing to be easily understood, and to know that his bombasted words do signify nothing more than before was easily known by common familiar terms.
    • 2013, Christianna Brand, What Dread Hand?: A Collection of Short Stories
      The ugly truth is, Gerald,' she said viciously, 'that you're a phoney, a rotten, bombasting phoney, trying to cover up from all the world, []


bombast (comparative more bombast, superlative most bombast)

  1. High-sounding; inflated; big without meaning; magniloquent; bombastic.
    • Shakespeare
      [He] evades them with a bombast circumstance, / Horribly stuffed with epithets of war.
    • Cowley
      Nor a tall metaphor in bombast way.