1. Characterized by excessive self-esteem or exaggerated dignity; pretentious: pompous officials who enjoy giving orders.
2. Full of high-sounding phrases; bombastic: a pompous proclamation.
3. Archaic Characterized by pomp or stately display: a pompous occasion.
[Middle English, from Old French pompeux, from Late Latin pompōsus, from Latin pompa, pomp; see POMP.]
pom·posi·ty (-pŏsĭ-tē), pompous·ness (-pəs-nĭs) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.