Pompous refers to someone who is overly proud and full of self-importance, displaying their superiority in a grandiose or showy manner.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Arrogant, Conceited, Egotistical, Grandiose, Haughty, Overbearing, Pretentious, Self-Important, Supercilious


Humble, Modest, Self-effacing

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun pomposities, pomposity, pomp, pomps, pompousness, pompousnesses
Verb None
Adjective pompous
Adverb pompously

Example Sentences

  • The pompous politician delivered a lengthy speech filled with self-praise and grandiose promises, but offered no concrete solutions to the problems at hand.

  • The professor’s pompous demeanor and condescending attitude made it difficult for students to approach him for help or clarification.

  • The CEO’s pompous behavior during meetings, constantly interrupting and belittling his colleagues, created a toxic work environment.

  • The pompous socialite flaunted her wealth and status at every opportunity, looking down upon those she considered beneath her.


The word “pompous” originates from the Latin word “pompa,” meaning procession or display. It is commonly used to describe someone who exhibits excessive self-importance, arrogance, or an inflated sense of their own importance.

The prefix “pom-” in “pompous” derives from the Latin word “pompa,” while the suffix “-ous” is a common suffix used to form adjectives meaning “full of” or “characterized by.” This combination creates the meaning of someone or something being full of pomp or ostentation.

The term “pompous” has been used throughout history to criticize individuals who display an exaggerated sense of self-importance, often accompanied by a grandiose and pretentious manner. It is commonly used to describe people who are overly formal, self-centered, and show off their status, knowledge, or achievements in a way that appears arrogant and condescending.

In literature, the term “pompous” is often used to describe characters who exhibit these qualities, such as pompous nobles or arrogant intellectuals. It can also be applied to describe certain styles of writing or speaking that are excessively verbose, flowery, or inflated with self-importance.

Overall, the word “pompous” serves as a critique of individuals who prioritize appearances, status, and self-aggrandizement over genuine humility and substance. It highlights the negative aspects of inflated egos and self-centered behavior, reminding us of the importance of modesty, empathy, and sincerity in our interactions with others.