Word of the Day : January 11, 2023
What It Means
- Bombast refers to speech or writing that is meant to sound important or impressive but that is not sincere or meaningful.
- // The other world leaders at the international conference had little interest in being subjected to the host president’s bombast.
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BOMBAST In Context
“… this sprawling German-language adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic WWI novel All Quiet on the Western Front is a film that feels both aesthetically dazzling and full of necessary truths: an antiwar drama that transcends the bombast of propaganda mostly just because it’s so artfully and indelibly made.” — Leah Greenblatt Entertainment Weekly, 28 Oct. 2022
Did You Know?
Bombast settled softly into English in the mid-late 16th century as a textile term used to refer to cotton or other soft fibrous material used as padding or stuffing (its ultimate source is likely Middle Persian pambak, meaning “cotton”), but within a decade it had extended from literal stuffing to figurative stuffing, referring to speech or writing that is padded with pretentious verbiage. The adjective bombastic, which followed bombast a century later, has been a favorite choice to describe blowhards, boasters, and cockalorums ever since.