The Meaning of Pompous: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of pompous? This guide will provide you with all of the knowledge you need on the word pompous, including its definition, etymology, synonyms, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word pompous mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word pompous is an adjective that describes a stately display or rude attitude that implies someone is better than other people, or who is self-important. The suffixes ness and ly can be added to the end of pompous (adj.) to form pompously (adv.) and pompousness (n.) Pompous is two syllables – pomp-ous, and the pronunciation of pompous is ˈpɒmpəs. 

Many people and things can be pompous, including a pompous small band of intellectuals, the pompous self-importance of an obscure poet, pompous official tours of my unit, a pompous jury, a pompous tone, a pompous barrister, pompous professors or a headteacher, pompous pontifical hooey or pseudo-scientific gobbledygook, a pompous deportment done in a boatful mannet, a pompous manner of speech during a showy display, a pompous flight, a pompous distinctive character Jon Stewart plays, pompous bombastic celebrations at the crowded bazaars of Haji,  a true indicator of his pompous attitude, pompous arrogant men who think they are on the grand scale of Babylonian Gods with an exaggerated sense of dignity, a pompous aristocrat, pompous triumph, someone with a grandiose ides of her own importance for the rest of her days, a pompous sensitive man angry about flight tickets, a pompous sociology essay, pompous precession, pompous minor official, pompous occasion, pompous attitude of people, pompous style, pompous solemn procession, pompous proclamation of high-sounding phrases, a pompous chauffeur with a huge touring car, a pompous handsome soldier with vanity and excessive self-esteem, an ostentatious display of dignity, splendour and grandeur at a ceremony, ceremonial pomp, 

Words meaning pompous are also used in many other languages. You may notice that some of these words and phrases look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates which are often formed when two words in different languages have the same root or language of origin. This list of translations of pompous is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Bokmål: pompøs‎
  •  Czech: pompézní‎
  •  Catalan: pompós‎
  •  Romanian: pompos‎
  •  Lithuanian: pompastiškas‎ (masc.), pasipūtęs‎ (masc.)
  •  Persian: پرشکوه‎ (poršokuh)
  •  Swedish: pompös‎
  •  Finnish: mahtipontinen‎, suurellinen‎
  •  German: pompös‎
  •  Portuguese: pomposo‎ (masc.)
  •  Spanish: majestuoso‎ (masc.), majestuosa‎ (fem.), pomposo‎ (masc.)
  •  Nynorsk: pompøs‎
  •  French: pompeux‎, emphatique‎
  •  Italian: pomposo‎
  •  Russian: помпе́зный‎

What is the origin of the word pompous?

According to Etymonline, the word pompous has been used since 14c or the early 15c Middle English. This word comes from the Old French pompos and Old French pompeux, which is now the Modern French pompeux, as well as the Late Latin pompous/Late Latin pompōsus, Latin pompous pons and Latin pomps.

How can the word pompous be used in a sentence?

The word pompous can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions and incorporate them into your vocabulary. You could also try making a quiz or flashcards to test your knowledge of different definitions. Try using this new word of the day in a sentence today! You never know, it might become a new favorite word. Below are a couple of examples of pompous being used in English language sentences to help get you started.

Pompous George told ridiculous tales in a boastful manner, his ego swelling. 

The pompous man, Walton, bloviated around the ways of courts with an overblown oratory nightmare. 

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word pompous?

There are many different equivalent words that a person can use in place of the word pompous (adj.). These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. One might choose to use a synonym because they want to avoid repeating themselves, or because they would like to work  on expanding their vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word pompous is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  aggressive
  •  unevitable
  •  well established
  •  fustian
  •  impassioned
  •  rhetorical
  •  inevitable
  •  lofty
  •  muck or nettles
  •  contemptuous
  •  even
  •  persevering
  •  alarm
  •  magniloquent
  •  ride or die
  •  solid
  •  condescending
  •  pontifical
  •  consternation
  •  smug
  •  fervid
  •  unhesitating
  •  dyed-in-the-wool
  •  imperious
  •  bombastic
  •  ceremonious
  •  uniform
  •  permanent
  •  cocky
  •  vainglorious
  •  ensured
  •  grandiose
  •  long-lasting
  •  adventurous
  •  puffy
  •  stated
  •  overbearing
  •  go-to
  •  showy
  •  magisterial
  •  egotistic
  •  dogged
  •  fixed
  •  grandiloquent
  •  portentous
  •  adamant
  •  well-established
  •  supercilious
  •  secure
  •  self-important
  •  arrogant
  •  like clockwork
  •  dutiful
  •  overweening
  •  highfalutin
  •  stilted
  •  ostentatious
  •  stuck-up
  •  affected
  •  sworn
  •  vain
  •  settled
  •  pretentious
  •  on an even keel
  •  enduring
  •  snobbish
  •  copper-bottomed
  •  as good as your word
  •  enthusiastic
  •  superior
  •  haughty
  •  same
  •  equable
  •  firm
  •  passionate
  •  turgid
  •  high-flown
  •  intent
  •  overblown
  •  written in stone
  •  active
  •  agitation
  •  ornate
  •  flowery
  •  boastful
  •  durable
  •  egotistical
  •  very strong
  •  patient
  •  snooty
  •  proud
  •  conceited
  •  orotund
  •  not if but when
  •  inflated
  •  uppity
  •  presumptuous
  •  fervent
  •  inveterate
  •  puffed up

There are also a great many words that mean the opposite of the word pompous. These opposite words are called antonyms. English language antonyms are also very useful grammatical devices to know. This list of antonyms for the word pompous is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  unassuming
  •  modest
  •  beneficent
  •  considerate
  •  unsophisticated
  •  bootlicking
  •  bum-sucking
  •  nice
  •  bountiful
  •  unadorned
  •  ass-licking
  •  plain
  •  bighearted
  •  brownnosing
  •  apple-polishing
  •  compassionate
  •  spartan
  •  simple
  •  bald
  •  ass licking
  •  arse-licking
  •  inconspicuous
  •  lowly
  •  unornamented
  •  austere
  •  submissive
  •  basic
  •  benevolent
  •  arse kissing
  •  unpretentious
  •  caring
  •  demure
  •  arse licking
  •  understated
  •  poor
  •  bounteous
  •  altruistic
  •  stark
  •  charitable
  •  brown-nosing
  •  ass-kissing
  •  humble
  •  bare
  •  unvarnished
  •  brown nosing
  •  undecorated
  •  ordinary
  •  meek
  •  buttering up
  •  deferential

Overall, the word pompous means self-important and self-righteous. This word is French and Latin in origin. 


  1. pompous | Origin and meaning of pompous | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  2. Pompous definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary  
  3. Pompous synonyms – 922 Words and Phrases for Pompous | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Pompous antonyms – 181 Opposites of Pompous | Power Thesaurus 
  5. pompous: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense