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See also: high falutin


Alternative forms[edit]


Alteration of high-fluting. In his book, The Adventure of English, Melvyn Bragg records that in a nascent America, when the well-to-do travelled by steamboat, said passengers were referred to as highfalutin due to the high fluted funnels on the boats. Compare riffraff. Another speculation connects the term with high-flighting/-flying.


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌhaɪ.fəˈlu.tɨn/, /ˈhaɪ.fəˌlu.tɨn/
  • (file)


highfalutin (comparative more highfalutin, superlative most highfalutin)

  1. (informal) Self-important, pompous; arrogant or egotistical.
    It's only a matter of time before some highfalutin developer builds a huge hotel and ruins the scenery.
    That one Cajun that moved to Austin is too highfalutin to come back to Livingston Parish. He's over there with that mean bread lady!
    His speech was very highfalutin.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Said of people and writing.




highfalutin (uncountable)

  1. (archaic) Pompous speech or writing.
    • 1865, Benn Pitman, The Assassination of President Lincoln: And the Trial of the Conspirators, page 43:
      Don't write so much highfalutin next time.

Further reading[edit]

  • highfalutin at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • highfalutin in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911