Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him.

He has a new auto, you know, and he boasts that it's the fastest one in this country.

He daily boasts of the great protection and great friendship of Talleyrand.

"I have never been further than eighty fathoms from the land," was one of his boasts.

Oroville boasts that it has never surrendered and that it has never been cleaned out.

Rome, that boasts of her freedom from schism should blot the 18th century from her page.

Killarney, the region of the arbutus, boasts of no such tree as this.

He boasts not, nor do I, of birth, nor of great family distinctions.

Some of the boasts in it are apparently quite justified by the facts.

He boasts that his translation is equal in style to the original.


mid-13c., "arrogance, presumption, pride, vanity;" c.1300, "a brag, boastful speech," from Anglo-French bost "ostentation," probably via Scandinavian (cf. Norwegian baus "proud, bold, daring"), from Proto-Germanic *bausia "to blow up, puff up, swell" (cf. Middle High German bus "swelling," dialectal German baustern "to swell;" Middle Dutch bose, Dutch boos "evil, wicked, angry," Old High German bosi "worthless, slanderous," German böse "evil, bad, angry"), from PIE *bhou-, variant of root *beu-, *bheu- "to grow, swell" (see bull (n.2)).

The notion apparently is of being "puffed up" with pride; cf. Old English belgan "to become angry, offend, provoke," belg "anger, arrogance," from the same root as bellows and belly (n.). Related: Boasted; boasting. An Old English word for "boasting" was micelsprecende, "big talk."