Bumptious refers to people who are excessively self-assertive, brash, or presumptuous. They are often full of themselves and act in an arrogant or conceited manner.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



arrogant, conceited, pompous, haughty, overbearing, presumptuous, self-important, egotistical, self-centered.


Humble, modest, meek, unassuming, deferential, unpretentious, reserved, shy.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun bumptiousnesses, bumptiousness
Verb None
Adjective bumptious
Adverb bumptiously

Example Sentences

  • The new intern was so bumptious that she annoyed all her coworkers.

  • I find it difficult to have a conversation with a bumptious person, as they tend to talk more than listen.

  • The politician’s bumptious attitude turned off many of her potential supporters.

  • Jack’s bumptious behavior at the party made a bad impression on everyone he met.


The word bumptious is derived from the noun bump, meaning an act of striking something or being struck, and the suffix -tious, which is used to indicate an inclination towards something in a negative way. Thus, bumptious indicates the condition of being bump-like, i.e., behaving like a person who is often bumping into things due to their excessive self-assertiveness.

The word is often used to describe people who are annoyingly self-important or overbearing. Bumptious people are known for their tendency to speak more than they listen, and for their arrogance and conceit. They often act superior to others, and have a hard time accepting criticism or feedback from others. Bumptiousness is not a desirable trait, as it can make people appear unapproachable or difficult to work with.

The prefix pre- can be added to bumptious to create the word preemptious, which means overly eager to take action, often without considering the full consequences of one’s actions. This can describe a person who rushes into a situation without proper preparation, or someone who is quick to take credit for the work of others. The word postumptious can be formed by adding the prefix post-, which means after, and refers to behavior that is presumptuous after the fact, or presumptive after an event has occurred.

In summary, bumptious is a negative adjective that describes someone who behaves arrogantly, presumptuously, or overbearingly. It is used to describe people who act superior to others, and it is generally considered a negative trait. Other variations of the word include preemptious and postumptious.