A pompous person is arrogant or conceited. He'll walk into a party with an inflated ego, ready to tell anyone who will listen that "I'm kind of a big deal."

Today we associate the adjective pompous with self-important jerks. But it's actually derived from the Old French pompeux, which meant “stately." And that's why you can also use pompous to describe something with a lot of ceremonial or stately display — in other words, something surrounded by "pomp and circumstance."

Definitions of pompous
  1. adjective
    puffed up with vanity
    “a pompous speech”
    synonyms: grandiloquent, overblown, pontifical, portentous
    making claim to or creating an appearance of (often undeserved) importance or distinction
  2. adjective
    characterized by pomp and ceremony and stately display
    synonyms: ceremonious
Word Family

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