Pooh-Bah or pooh-bah (pbä′)
1. A pompous ostentatious official, especially one who, holding many offices, fulfills none of them.
2. A person who holds high office.
[After Pooh-Bah, Lord-High-Everything-Else, a character in The Mikado by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.