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


The more I see of them the more I get tired of their bombast and their empty talk.

This German-creed sweeps the earth with all the bombast of a war-mad Kaiser.

The bombast and ignorance shown in some of these is very amusing.

After all, what is is, and neither falsehood nor bombast will alter it.

Its boyishness and immaturity, its stiffness and bombast, are perceptible on every page.

She, in reply, warns him not to give way to bombast and empty pathos.

And never was I more frightened than when uttering that bombast.

It was all talk—all wind—all fustian—all bombast—all theory.

We have no longer the bombast and unreality of the revolutionary epic.

It's figurativ' and poetic, but it's within the line that divides taste from bombast.


1560s, "cotton padding," corrupted from earlier bombace (1550s), from Old French bombace "cotton, cotton wadding," from Late Latin bombacem, accusative of bombax "cotton, 'linteorum aut aliae quaevis quisquiliae,' " a corruption and transferred use of Latin bombyx "silk," from Greek bombyx "silk, silkworm" (which also came to mean "cotton" in Medieval Greek), from some oriental word, perhaps related to Iranian pambak (modern panba) or Armenian bambok, perhaps ultimately from a PIE root meaning "to twist, wind." From stuffing and padding for clothes or upholstery, meaning extended to "pompous, empty speech" (1580s).

Also from the same source are Swedish bomull, Danish bomuld "cotton," and, via Turkish forms, Modern Greek mpampaki, Rumanian bumbac, Serbo-Croatian pamuk. German baumwolle "cotton" is probably from the Latin word but altered by folk-etymology to look like "tree wool." Polish bawełna, Lithuanian bovelna are partial translations from German.


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