Definition of bombast in English:



  • [mass noun] High-sounding language with little meaning, used to impress people.

    ‘the bombast of gung-ho militarism’
    • ‘The president conveyed strength and reassurance and firmness, without bombast, without posturing.’
    • ‘His performance veers between extreme bombast and lazy naturalism - a shaky line few actors could get away with, but he pulls it off brilliantly.’
    • ‘For all their bluster and bombast, each display of physical power proves in the end to be ineffectual.’
    • ‘Unless he acts, allies insist, he will be painted as an impotent puppet, thwarted by London Labour, and vulnerable to the opposition leader's bombast.’
    • ‘But for many years now bombast, rant, and confident obscurity have been his reigning notes.’
    • ‘It was powerful stuff, delivered with plenty of bombast, but to the audience it was just be a sign of how far the music industry has gone from its roots.’
    • ‘This is an important but ponderous book, but if one can endure the Communist bombast, it is well worth reading.’
    • ‘Without any trace of arrogance and bombast he replies.’
    • ‘There was more bombast and bluster than football, the most notable happenings on the park being the accumulation of bookings.’
    • ‘Her wild, rash and unprecedented bombast was a shameful act of utter disrespect, not only to her constituency but also to the nation.’
    • ‘The early subtlety has given way to cheap bombast.’
    • ‘If he did he'd have surely come up with better arguments than bluster and bombast.’
    • ‘This gives me hope for media bombast in general, that it can be scaled back without the whole house of cards collapsing.’
    • ‘Finlandia is not a long piece but manages to combine both bombast and lyricism, with a main theme that I really like.’
    • ‘He delivers a Ride Of The Valkyries in which he supplants bombast with an intelligent compliment to the story as it appears on stage.’
    • ‘Sorel shared this disdain for patriotic and obscurantist bombast.’
    • ‘When bombast fails only the shield of diplomacy can protect us’
    • ‘If post-rock has proved anything, it's that subtlety and bombast aren't mortal enemies.’
    • ‘But let's not compound our losses with deluded bombast about what we have to gain.’
    • ‘A lot of nationalistic bombast was spouted during this era, but there was also a quiet betrayal of an entire generation.’
    bluster, pomposity, ranting, rant, nonsense, empty talk, humbug, wind, blather, blether, claptrap
    turgidity, verbosity, verbiage, periphrasis, euphuism, fustian
    pretentiousness, affectedness, ostentation, grandiloquence, magniloquence
    hot air, bunkum, guff, bosh
    braggadocio, rodomontade
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (denoting raw cotton or cotton wool used as padding, later used figuratively): from Old French bombace, from medieval Latin bombax, bombac-, alteration of bombyx silkworm (see bombazine).