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.
- (US, informal) Self-important, pompous; arrogant or egotistical; tending to show off or hold oneself in unduly high regard.
- It's only a matter of time before some highfalutin developer builds a huge hotel and ruins the scenery.