Fustian is overblown, pretentious speech or writing. If you're a careful reader, a novelist's fustian won't disguise his book's flimsy plot and stereotypical characters.

Announcing your arrival at school by saying, "It is I, the very heart and soul of this school — colleagues, let education commence!" is an example of fustian. The chess club captain might start each practice with fustian, pompously reflecting on the history of the game, the intellect of a great player, and his own importance as leader of the team. This term, which originally meant "rough twill cloth," was used in its "pompous talk or bombast" sense by Shakespeare in Othello.

Definitions of fustian
  1. noun
    a strong cotton and linen fabric with a slight nap
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    type of:
    cloth, fabric, material, textile
    artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers
  2. noun
    pompous or pretentious talk or writing
    synonyms: blah, bombast, claptrap, rant
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    type of:
    grandiloquence, grandiosity, magniloquence, ornateness, rhetoric
    high-flown style; excessive use of verbal ornamentation
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