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Bombast   Listen
adjective
Bombast  adj.  High-sounding; inflated; big without meaning; magniloquent; bombastic. "(He) evades them with a bombast circumstance, Horribly stuffed with epithets of war." "Nor a tall metaphor in bombast way."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Bombast" Quotes from Famous Books



... lost sight of nature and passion, between bombast on one hand and conceit on the other. Shall one of the cold temperament of France teach a Grecian how to love? Greece, the parent of fair forms and soft desires, the nurse of poetry, whose soft climate and tempered skies disposed to every gentler ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 4 • Charles Dudley Warner

... quite seventeen. Not yet seventeen! the reader will say. She was still such a child, and yet arguing to herself about spendthrift debtors and self-sacrifice! All this bombast at sixteen and a half. No, my ungentle reader, not all this bombast at sixteen and a half. The bombast is mine. It is my fault if I cannot put into fitting language the thoughts which God put into her young heart. In her mind's soliloquy, Charley's ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... heart-sickened by long neglect and coarse rebuffs, and smothering his aspirations in a convent. In striking contrast with this pale figure is the portly and imposing one of Robert William Elliston, type of theatrical charlatans, embodiment of bombast and puffery, monarch over the realm of pasteboard, immortalized by Lamb, and surely not undeserving of the honor. With him may be said to have ended the line of the eccentrics, which fills a large space in Mr. Fitzgerald's ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, April 1875, Vol. XV., No. 88 • Various

... say he is every where alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the greatest of mankind. He is many times flat and insipid; his comick wit degenerating into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast. But he is always great, when some great occasion is presented to him: No man can say, he ever had a fit subject for his wit, and did not then raise himself as high above ...
— Preface to Shakespeare • Samuel Johnson

... communication, he retreated to his own room, in order to resume his own dress, which he hoped would alter his appearance in such a manner as to baffle all search and examination; while the physician remained ashamed and abashed, to find himself convinced of bombast by a person of such contemptible talents. He was offended at this proof of his memory, and so much enraged at his presumption in exhibiting it, that he could never forgive his want of reverence, and took ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... together, constitute a complete and intelligible sentence.[1693] The words I shall utter will be fraught with sense, free from ambiguity (in consequence of each of them not being symbols of many things), logical, free from pleonasm or tautology, smooth, certain, free from bombast, agreeable or sweet, truthful, not inconsistent with the aggregate of three, (viz., Righteousness, Wealth and Pleasure), refined (i.e., free from Prakriti), not elliptical or imperfect, destitute of harshness or difficulty ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity,{353} are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at ...
— My Bondage and My Freedom • Frederick Douglass

... hear said; I at once come to the conclusion that they are either hypocrites, or there is nothing in them. But, with respect to Shakespeare, whom I have not read for thirty years, is he not rather given to bombast, "crackling bombast," as I think I have said in ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... with one of the belles of W——, and, last evening, he openly avowed that to-day, he should 'carry off Miss Sybil Lamotte, in spite of her high and mighty family, and in the face of all the town.' Of course, no one who heard regarded these things, save as the bombast of a half drunken braggart and liar. To-day, young Evarts and his still wilder chum, encountered him just setting forth with his fine turnout and wonderfully gotten up. They jested on his fine appearance, and for once he evaded their ...
— The Diamond Coterie • Lawrence L. Lynch

... Bombast Poet Alpinus, murders Memnon in his Poem, and bemires himself in his description of the Rhine, I divert my self in these Satires. 'Tis plain from hence, that Alpinus liv'd in the time when Horace writ these Satires: and suppose Alpinus was an imaginary ...
— An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad • Walter Harte

... sang, the Doctor whistled, the Doctor talked. He spoke of the woods, and the wars, and the deposition of dew; he brightened and babbled of Paris; he soared into cloudy bombast on the glories of the political arena. All was to be changed; as the day departed, it took with it the vestiges of an outworn existence, and to-morrow's sun was to inaugurate the new. "Enough," he cried, "of this life of maceration!" His wife (still beautiful, or he was sadly ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 6 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... birthright. Yet, once decorated with the ennobling badge of his order, our friend became from that moment something superior, something exclusive, something supercilious, arrogant, exacting,—Asirvadam, the high Brahmin,—a creature of wide strides without awkwardness, towering airs without bombast, Sanscrit quotations without pedantry, florid phraseology without hyperbole, allegorical illustrations and proverbial points without sententiousness, fanciful flights without affectation, and formal strains of compliment ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... on the great success of the piece, the plot of which he had cleverly "adapted" from the Adelphi of Terence. In the prologue, which was spoken by Mountfort, the actor, whom the infamous Lord Mohun stabbed in Norfolk Street, the dramatist ridicules his tormenter Dryden, for his noise and bombast, and ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... lyrics by Rueckert. None of these are over two pages long, except the last. They are written in the best modern Lied style, and are quite unhackneyed. It is always the unexpected that happens, though this unexpected thing almost always proves to be a right thing. Without any sense of strain or bombast he reaches superb climaxes; without eccentricity he is individual; and his songs are truly interpreters of the words they express. Of these five, "Wann die Rosen aufgeblueht" is a wonderfully fine and fiery work; ...
— Contemporary American Composers • Rupert Hughes

... short-breathing clay; Ours, a young train, by humbler fountains dream, Nor taste presumptuous the Pierian stream; When Rodney's triumph comes on eagle-wing, We hail the victor whom we fear to sing; Nor tell we how each hostile chief goes on, The luckless Lee, or wary Washington; How Spanish bombast blusters—they were beat, And French politeness dulcifies—defeat. My modest Muse forbears to speak of kings, Lest fainting stanzas blast the name she sings; For who—the tenant of the beechen shade, Dares the ...
— Inebriety and the Candidate • George Crabbe

... difficulties to the translator. The English language will not carry the requisite amount of bombast; the assonances and the puns are generally incapable of reproduction. Even when this allowance has been made, it is in many cases impossible to give anything approximating to a translation in natural English. I can only trust ...
— The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura • Lucius Apuleius

... stockings, garters, and roses, and with the help of many pillows and other such farcing, so filled the garments which otherwise had hung upon him like a shawl from a peg, and made of himself such a 'sweet creature of bombast' that, with ludicrous unlikeness of countenance, he bore in figure no distant resemblance ...
— St. George and St. Michael • George MacDonald

... its principle and no such logical deduction as other sciences, the treatises written upon it abound more in shallowness than any other literature. Short-sightedness and arrogance find in it a most congenial atmosphere, and criticism and declamatory bombast flourish in perfection as nowhere else. The literature of religious tracts might be considered to rival that of Pedagogics in its superficiality and assurance, if it did not for the most part seem itself to belong, through its ascetic nature, to Pedagogics. But ...
— Pedagogics as a System • Karl Rosenkranz

... of men, to have many good men, wise, men, learned men to attend upon him with all submission, as an appendix to his riches, for that respect alone, because he hath more wealth and money," [336]"to honour him with divine titles, and bombast epithets," to smother him with fumes and eulogies, whom they know to be a dizzard, a fool, a covetous wretch, a beast, &c. "because he is rich?" To see sub exuviis leonis onagrum, a filthy loathsome carcass, a Gorgon's head puffed ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... bombast and gallery play after July 1st. In that case some men on horses who had received an order rode out and rode back, and verse made ever memorable this wild gallop of exhilaration with horses bearing the men. The battalions of July 1st ...
— My Second Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... tongues, And only knoweth what t' all states belongs. Made of th' accents and best phrase of all these, He speaks one language. If strange meats displease, Art can deceive, or hunger force my taste; But pedant's motley tongue, soldier's bombast, Mountebank's drug-tongue, nor the terms of law, Are strong enough preparatives to draw Me to hear this, yet I must be content With his tongue, in his tongue call'd Compliment; In which he can win widows, and pay scores, Make men speak treason, cozen subtlest ...
— English Satires • Various

... days the sea burst on the black rocks of the islet in the bay in clouds of foam. It was all bombast, froth and bubble, or rather a gentle back-hander, for the cyclone was playing all sorts of naughty pranks elsewhere. But why were we apprehensive? In disobedience to the scriptural injunction, we had observed the clouds ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... and were not less lofty than his thoughts. As a statesman he had serious defects; he was haughty, vain, and overbearing, his opinions were unsettled, his far-reaching views often nebulous; his passion was stronger than his judgment, and he was immoderately given to bombast. In spite of his true greatness he lacked simplicity, and he imported the arts of a charlatan into political life. Yet Englishmen must ever reverence his memory, for he loved England with all the ardour of his soul, and, ...
— The Political History of England - Vol. X. • William Hunt

... to rhetoric, probably under Epidius, he received the training which was still considered orthodox. His farewell[3] to rhetoric—written probably in 48—shows unmistakably the nature of the stuff on which he had been fed. It is the bombast and the futile rules of the Asianic creed against which he flings ...
— Vergil - A Biography • Tenney Frank

... "we must be prepared. I look upon it all as an empty, insolent piece of bombast; but whatever it is, we must not be taken unawares. Help shall be at once asked from England, and meantime we must do all we can to place ourselves ...
— Mass' George - A Boy's Adventures in the Old Savannah • George Manville Fenn

... equally reckless in the field; and required them to declare if so venial a fault had not, by that fact, already been sufficiently expiated. He then recapitulated the events of his career as a military leader; but he did so temperately and modestly, without a trace of the arrogant bombast for which he had throughout his life been celebrated. So great was the effect of this unexpected and manly dignity, that many members of the court were seen to shed tears; and had his fate been decided upon the instant, it is probable that his ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... been raised. Of course, it has been different hitherto," he said, endeavouring in his own mind to excuse the indiscretion of that Kappa-kappa. This lecture also she turned to wholesome food and digested, obtaining from it some strength and throwing off the bombast by which a weaker mind might have been inflated. She understood, at any rate, that St. James' Square must be her doom; but while acknowledging this to herself, she made a little resolution that a good deal would have to be done to the house before it was ready for her ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practises more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States ...
— Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence - The Best Speeches Delivered by the Negro from the days of - Slavery to the Present Time • Various

... the emphasis of that fact was—without phosphorus no thought is possible. We can much more relevantly declare that without thyroid, no thought, no growth, no distinctive humanity or even animality is possible. For the epigram about phosphorus was bombast, since it can be declaimed with equal truth that without oxygen, without carbon, without nitrogen, without any of the food elements that go to make up the chemical composition of brain matter, no thought is possible. Indeed, if one were set upon the indictment ...
— The Glands Regulating Personality • Louis Berman, M.D.

... Keowee talk? They may 'moo' like the cow, or 'mew' like the cat! I should be in danger of losing half that was said. And that is what these varlets here in the station know right well. It must seem but a mere bit of bombast on my part. It could never be seriously countenanced—unless I had an interpreter. Stop me! but if you were a grandson instead of a granddaughter, I would not mind taking you with me to interpret for me, though, Gadzooks, I'd ...
— The Frontiersmen • Charles Egbert Craddock

... little People appears sprightly and agreeable; while the Man of Resolution and true Gallantry is overlooked and disregarded, if not despised. There is a Propriety in all things; and I believe what you Scholars call just and sublime, in opposition to turgid and bombast Expression, may give you an Idea of what I mean, when I say Modesty is the certain Indication of a great Spirit, and Impudence the Affectation of it. He that writes with Judgment, and never rises into improper Warmths, manifests the true Force of ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... buzzing thing, Some starveling songster on a tiny wing,— (N.B. They call the insect Bob, I know, I heard a printer's devil call it so)— So fondly tells his admiration vast No one can call the chastened strains bombast, Though epitheted substantives immense Claim for each lofty sound ...
— My Life as an Author • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... direction nearly east from the Three Marys, the reader will find, on most maps, a small river, called by the Spaniards, in their usual style of bombast, El Rio Grande, or the Great River; though the identical legs that I now stand upon have waded across it at low water, and, except cutting my foot with an oyster-shell, there was nothing very remarkable in the exploit. At the mouth of this mighty stream is an island on which stands the ...
— An Old Sailor's Yarns • Nathaniel Ames

... the stern sublimity of his conceptions. The French tragedians may give some weak reflection of Euripides or even of Sophocles, but none have ventured upon the sacred territory of the father of the tragic drama. He defies all imitation. His genius is so near the verge of bombast, that to approach his sublime is to rush into ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... behind the movement, foolish men then tried to stay these moral forces. Northern merchants and politicians cried, "Peace!" and the Southern successors of Calhoun lifted the old club, the threat of secession; but the agitation went on all over the North. Toombs, the Southern senator, tried sheer bombast, and said he would call the roll of his slaves at the foot of Bunker Hill monument. Timid men in the North began to cry: "Conciliate, conciliate!" But there can be warfare, and only warfare between ...
— The Battle of Principles - A Study of the Heroism and Eloquence of the Anti-Slavery Conflict • Newell Dwight Hillis

... thinks were intended for Shakspeare: 'Yes, trust them not; for there is an upstart crow beautified with our feathers, that, with his tiger's heart wrapt in a player's hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you; and, being an absolute Johannes Factotum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country.' Again: with this view, the disputed passages—those in which critics have agreed that the genius is found wanting—the meretricious ornaments sometimes ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 449 - Volume 18, New Series, August 7, 1852 • Various

... Tintoretto; Perugino was succeeded by Raphael. It is everywhere the same story; a reverend but child-like worship of the letter, followed by a manful apprehension of the spirit, and, alas! in due time by an almost total disregard of the letter; then rant and cant and bombast, till the value of the letter is reasserted. In theology the early men are represented by the Evangelicals, the times of utter decadence by infidelity—the middle race of giants is yet to come, and will ...
— The Fair Haven • Samuel Butler

... the peoples of both lands are beginning to awake to the fact that their countries have been living on the glories of their revolutions and traditions, rather than the substance of freedom. Behind the boast of old-age pensions, material benefits and wage regulations, behind the bombast concerning liberty in this country and tyranny in that, behind all the slogans and shibboleths coined out of the ideals of the peoples for the uses of imperialism, woman must and will see the iron hand of that same imperialism, condemning women to ...
— Woman and the New Race • Margaret Sanger

... into morbid and unnatural fatness; and, when it is in such a state that it would be sent away in disgust from any table, he offers it to the judges. The object of the poetical candidate, in like manner, is to produce, not a good poem, but a poem of that exact degree of frigidity or bombast which may appear to his censors to be correct or sublime. Compositions thus constructed will always be worthless. The few excellences which they may contain will have an exotic aspect and flavour. In general, prize sheep are good for nothing but to make tallow candles, and prize poems are good for ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Contibutions to Knight's Quarterly Magazine] • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... heere comes bare-bone. How now my sweet Creature of Bombast, how long is't agoe, Iacke, since thou saw'st thine owne Knee? Falst. My owne Knee? When I was about thy yeeres (Hal) I was not an Eagles Talent in the Waste, I could haue crept into any Aldermans Thumbe-Ring: a plague of sighing and griefe, it blowes a man vp like ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... of heedless persons, stirred by the bombast of self-exploiting orators eager for notoriety or display—loose mobs of local nondescripts led by pension sharks so aptly described by the gallant General Bragg, of Wisconsin, as coffee coolers and camp followers—should ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... that had the widest vogue among the good wishes with which the dedicator in the early years of the seventeenth century besought his patron's favour on the first page of his book. But Thorpe was too self-assertive to be a slavish imitator. His addiction to bombast and his elementary appreciation of literature recommended to him the practice of incorporating in his dedicatory salutation some high-sounding embellishments of the accepted formula suggested by his author's writing. {399a} In his dedication of the 'Sonnets' to 'Mr. W. ...
— A Life of William Shakespeare - with portraits and facsimiles • Sidney Lee

... Marius.") I don't know, and don't care. It is not Shakespeare. It may "show something of the skill of kindred genius," as the preface to the acting edition says it does. I confess I do not see it. I would have such bombast delivered with the traditional accompaniment of red fire; and the curtain should descend majestically to the sound of slow music. That ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 59, September, 1862 • Various

... still dragging from his shoulders, is no more than a puzzled, broken old man, crowded in this bad business beside the Grand Turk, against whom his fathers defended Europe. The preposterous Ferdinand, shorn of his bombast, is only a chicken-hearted assassin. The leader of the band, the All Highest himself, when stripped of his white cloak and silver helmet, shows the slouch and the furtive ferocity of the street-corner bravo. And the cry "God with us," which once rallied Crusades, has become on such lips ...
— Raemaekers' Cartoons - With Accompanying Notes by Well-known English Writers • Louis Raemaekers

... whole action deal with one single series of events, and the time it represented as elapsing be no greater than the time it took in playing. He was always pre-eminently an Englishman of his own day with a scholar's rather than a poet's temper, hating extravagance, hating bombast and cant, and only limited because in ruling out these things he ruled out much else that was essential to the spirit of the time. As a craftsman he was uncompromising; he never bowed to the tastes of the public and never veiled his scorn of those—Shakespeare ...
— English Literature: Modern - Home University Library Of Modern Knowledge • G. H. Mair

... when in response to his rage and to his bombast Elsa had only silence for him—a silence which he knew must hide her real thoughts, he suddenly lost all sense of proportion and of prudence; for the moment he felt as if he could hate this woman ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... Nothing could be more shameful and disastrous. The Americans had evidently been expecting this useless bombast, and ere the words were well uttered, they answered them with a yell of defiance. I do not think more than one proclamation was necessary, but Morello went from point to point in the city and the Americans ...
— Remember the Alamo • Amelia E. Barr

... brilliant fantasy and poignant truth" which he rightly perceived to be the essence of the philosophic contes of Voltaire, finished his own intellectual education. Henceforth he does not allow his seriousness to overweigh his liveliness; if he detects a tendency to bombast, he relieves it with a brilliant jest. Count de Moltke and the lampoons offer us a case to our hand; "he was just the old fool who would make a cream cheese," says Contarini, and the startled laugh which greets him is exactly of the same order as those which were wont to reward the statesman's ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... were better to stand or fly, two active young men, clad in fantastic masking habits, resembling wild men, and holding great clubs, seized upon him, saying, in a tragical tone: "Yield thee, man of bells and bombast—yield thee, rescue or no rescue, or truly thou art ...
— The Fair Maid of Perth • Sir Walter Scott

... jury or committee is like flourishing a sword in a drawing-room: it will lose the case. Where the weakest are to be convinced speech must stoop: a full consideration of the velleities and uncertainties, a little bombast to elevate the feelings without committing the judgment, some vague effusion of sentiment, an inapposite blandness, a meaningless rodomontade—these are the by-ways to be travelled by the style that is a willing slave to its audience. The like is true of those documents—petitions, resolutions, ...
— Style • Walter Raleigh

... war, with its sequel at Fiume, we might have continued to enjoy the spectacle of the adventures of this restless soul amongst feminine masterpieces. As a soldier and a statesman his prestige in the English-speaking world is low, and we are apt to forget while reading the political bombast of the years of the war and the period after the Armistice that it differs in no respect from all other patriotic claptrap, except that it is the work of the greatest living master of Italian prose. Of this fact his early novels are a needed reminder to a generation which ...
— The Child of Pleasure • Gabriele D'Annunzio

... a line, and ever in a circle. The whining passions and little starved conceits are gently wafted up by their own extreme levity to the middle region, and there fix and are frozen by the frigid understandings of the inhabitants. Bombast and buffoonery, by nature lofty and light, soar highest of all, and would be lost in the roof if the prudent architect had not, with much foresight, contrived for them a fourth place, called the twelve-penny gallery, and there planted ...
— A Tale of a Tub • Jonathan Swift

... spell of number; do not talk to me—to me who am to die outright—of societies and peoples! There is no reality, there is no true duration, save that between the cradle and the grave. The rest is mere bombast, show, delusion! They call me a master because of some magic in my speech and thoughts; but I am a frightened child ...
— Death • Maurice Maeterlinck

... Chantry. Somewhat might perhaps be owing to an evening light, which cast strong mellow shades on the figures, and gave an effect of reality to the fine white marble of which they are composed; but their merits are very striking, and are quite unalloyed by the graphic bombast of which the most able French artists have been with too much truth accused. The character of the Dauphin, whose exemplary life in the midst of a corrupt court, was a tacit reproof which his haughty father could ill ...
— Itinerary of Provence and the Rhone - Made During the Year 1819 • John Hughes

... gradually masters of nearly all the colleges; and after a long and obstinate struggle, even the university of Cracow had to submit. According to Bentkowski, it was principally by their influence, that the tone of panegyric and of bombast was introduced, which for nearly a hundred and fifty years disgraced the Polish literature. The tastelessness of this style reached its highest point under John Sobieski; when the panegyrics with which this victorious captain ...
— Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic - Nations • Therese Albertine Louise von Jacob Robinson

... admitted it to himself with his mouth pulled down at the corners, the worst of it was that under the bombast, under the vituperative utterances, the catch phrases of radicalism, there remained the grains of truth. Starr knew that the masses of Mexico were suffering, broken under the tramplings of revolution and counter-revolution that swept back and forth from gulf to gulf. Still, ...
— Starr, of the Desert • B. M Bower

... taste, including vulgarisms, pompousness, repetition, vagueness, ambiguousness, colloquialism, bathos, bombast, pleonasm, tautology, harshness, mixed metaphor, and every sort ...
— Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922 • Howard Phillips Lovecraft

... opinion that the diversion only enfeebled the beautiful if austere picture of patriarchal domestic life delineated in the Bible. He therefore adhered to tradition and created a series of scenes full of beauty, dignity, and pathos, simple and strong in spite of the bombast prevalent in the literary style of the period. Mehul's music is marked by grandeur, simplicity, lofty sentiment, and consistent severity of manner. The composer's predilection for ecclesiastical music, created, ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... 1817, in two volumes quarto, was eagerly read and loudly abused. Croker, in the Quarterly Review, attacked the book, or rather the author, in an article which has become almost historic for its virulence. Poor Lady Morgan was accused of bad taste, bombast and nonsense, blunders, ignorance of the French language and manners, general ignorance, Jacobinism, falsehood, licentiousness, and impiety! The first four or five charges might have been proved with little ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... providing elegant accommodations for passengers; engineers and pilots gloried in speed records and challenged one another to races which ended in some of the most shocking steamboat disasters known to history. The unconscious bombast of an anonymous Cincinnati writer in Timothy Flint's "Western Monthly Review" in 1827 gives us the real flavor of the steamboat business on the ...
— The Old Northwest - A Chronicle of the Ohio Valley and Beyond, Volume 19 In - The Chronicles Of America Series • Frederic Austin Ogg

... prosperity cannot be reckoned, seemed for a time to be drunk with pride. Even Boileau, hurried along by the prevailing enthusiasm, forgot the good sense and good taste to which he owed his reputation. He fancied himself a lyric poet, and gave vent to his feelings in a hundred and sixty lines of frigid bombast about Alcides, Mars, Bacchus, Ceres, the lyre of Orpheus, the Thracian oaks and the Permessian nymphs. He wondered whether Namur, had, like Troy, been built by Apollo and Neptune. He asked what power could subdue a city stronger than that before which the ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Pericles, the prophetic earnestness of Demosthenes, in the response which each met, bear witness to the greatness of those who heard them. Even Cleon owed his greatest triumphs to the plainness with which he inveighed against the people's faults. Intolerant of inelegance and bombast, the Athenians required not only graceful speech, but speech to the point. Hence Demosthenes is of all ancient orators the most business-like. Of all ancient orators, it has been truly said he would have met ...
— A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius • Charles Thomas Cruttwell

... offer a situation to one of his fellow-passengers with the air of a lord. Nothing could overlie such a fellow; a kind of base success was written on his brow. He was then in his ill days; but I can imagine him in Congress with his mouth full of bombast and sawder. As we moved in the same circle, I was brought necessarily into his society. I do not think I ever heard him say anything that was true, kind, or interesting; but there was entertainment in the man's demeanour. You might call ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 2 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... Specimens of extravagant bombast might be selected from his tragedies. The following speech of Amurath the Turk, who coming on the stage, and seeing "an appearance of the heavens being on fire, comets and blazing stars, thus addresses the heavens," which seem to have ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3) - Edited, With Memoir And Notes, By His Son, The Earl Of Beaconsfield • Isaac D'Israeli

... indeed, convey a worse than inadequate idea of this wonderful oration, for they give merely a few fragments, in which they have contrived either to select their examples with the most curious infelicity, or to blunder them into bombast. But nothing can be more childish than to suppose, that Pitt would have given his praise to tawdry metaphor, that Burke would have done honour to feeble truisms, that Fox should have been unable to distinguish between logic and looseness of reasoning, or that the whole assembly, who had been ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 378, April, 1847 • Various

... of the following passage, a specimen of that lofty style, in which, as if under the influence of Eastern associations, almost all the Managers of this Trial occasionally indulged: [Footnote: Much of this, however, is to be set down to the gratuitous bombast of the Reporter. Mr. Fox, for instance, is made to say, "Yes, my Lords, happy is it for the world, that the penetrating gaze of Providence searches after man, and in the dark den where he has stifled the ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan Vol 2 • Thomas Moore

... 19 x 19 French spouters of platitude in half the time that Gauvain and Cimourdain took about it. In fact, Balfour seems to me to be flesh and blood and Gauvain & Co. to be too often mere personified bombast: and therefore I fancy that Old Mortality will outlast '93, though Notre Dame is far better than Quentin Durward, and Les Miserables, perhaps, better than any. This is, of course, fair matter ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... figure in this field of occult knowledge and of nature mysticism was the far-travelled man and medical genius, Aureolus Theophrastus Bombast, of Hohenheim, generally known as Paracelsus. He was born in 1493 in the neighbourhood of Einsiedeln, not far from Zurich, the son of a physician of repute. He studied in the University of Basle, and later was instructed by Trithemius, Abbot ...
— Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries • Rufus M. Jones

... said, by Ruffhead, to have told Warburton, that "Young had much of a sublime genius, though without common sense; so that his genius, having no guide, was perpetually liable to degenerate into bombast. This made him pass a foolish youth, the sport of peers and poets: but his having a very good heart enabled him to support the clerical character when he assumed it, first with decency, ...
— The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes - Volume the Eighth: The Lives of the Poets, Volume II • Samuel Johnson

... tombstones all painted in days when pure decoration had a religious appeal, these tattered red and white and black banners lend such a gay air to death; these swords and pistols and medals carved into the stone seem almost carrying a bombast to heaven. On one side of each tombstone is the name of its owner, preceded by the legend, "Here lies the slave of God." Do slaves ...
— The Luck of Thirteen - Wanderings and Flight through Montenegro and Serbia • Jan Gordon

... leisure, and study." The "taste" and the "art" are principally those of the pseudo-classic style, an imitation of "ancient Greece and imperial Rome," which the French of the XVIII century carried to such unpleasant excess. The general characteristics of the imitation, size and bombast, are well epitomised in the principal statue of Montpellier's fine Champ de Mars, which represents the high-heeled and luxurious Louis XIV in the unfitting armour of a Roman Imperator, mounted on a huge and restive charger. Such ...
— Cathedrals and Cloisters of the South of France, Volume 1 • Elise Whitlock Rose

... um sie und die Bhne verdient zu machen, sahe es freilich mit unserer dramatischen Poesie sehr elend aus. Man kannte keine Regeln, man bekmmerte sich um keine Muster. Unsre Staats- und Heldenaktionen waren voller Unsinn, Bombast, Schmutz und Pbelwitz. Unsre Lustspiele bestanden in Verkleidungen und Zaubereien, und Prgel waren die witzigsten Einflle derselben. Dieses Verderbnis einzusehen, brauchte man eben nicht der feinste und grsste Geist zu sein. Auch war Herr Gottsched nicht der ...
— An anthology of German literature • Calvin Thomas

... lost.] Vices of Style opposed to the Sublime: Affectation, Bombast, False Sentiment, Frigid Conceits. The ...
— On the Sublime • Longinus

... been ashamed of this speech, despite the lumbering bombast of some of its sentences. All that made him estimable as a public man is contained in it,—the sentiment of nationality, and a clear sense of the only means by which the United States can remain a nation; namely, strict ...
— Famous Americans of Recent Times • James Parton

... superfoetation—mannerism, like a fine, aristocratic perfume, holding a touch of musk (Euphues, his mark)—with boundless sumptuousness and adornment, real velvet and gems, not shoddy nor paste—but a good deal of bombast and fustian—(certainly some terrific mouthing ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... Reform Bill, as almost to threaten civil war. One minister talked of settling the question with 'broken heads and flaming houses.' Another boasted at a public meeting that he had 'got his hand upon the throat of capital'—all bombast, of course, but dangerous bombast at a time of great public excitement. Happily a vent was found for these angry passions in the ridiculous incident of Mr. Berry's 'embassy' to the Colonial Office, which set both ...
— Town Life in Australia - 1883 • R. E. N. (Richard) Twopeny

... Haytien, and when Leclerc summoned him to surrender, replied, "Go tell your general that the French shall march here only over ashes, and that the ground shall burn beneath their feet." This was not bombast, for when he found further defence impossible, he set fire to the city and retreated to the mountains, taking with him two thousand white prisoners. Grief and despair filled the soul of Toussaint when, marching to the relief of ...
— Historical Tales - The Romance of Reality - Volume III • Charles Morris

... Syntax are transgressed."—Iidem, ib. "An Idiotism is when the manner of expression peculiar to one language is used in another."—Iid., ib. "Tautology is when we either uselessly repeat the same words, or repeat the same sense in different words."—Adam, p. 243; Gould, 238. "Bombast is when high sounding words are used without meaning, or upon a trifling occasion."—Iid., ib. "Amphibology is when, by the ambiguity of the construction, the meaning may be taken in two different senses."—Iid., ib. "Irony is when one means the contrary of what is said."—Adam, ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... differences in vital energy, differences in the point of culture attained, differences in capacity to rise. As a consequence, the Declaration of Independence is treated by many as an obsolete document, and its assertions as mere bombast and rhetoric; unjustly so, because the truth which it attempts to convey is valid, though the form in which the truth is expressed and the grounds on which it is ...
— The Essentials of Spirituality • Felix Adler

... The touch of bombast was not out of place. It jumped so far with the humour of the convicts that they set up a feeble cheer, at which Sylvia frowned. Frightened as she was, the prison-bred child was as much astonished at hearing convicts cheer as a fashionable lady would ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... in all you write, And swerve not from it in your loftiest flight. The smoothest verse and the exactest sense Displease if uncouth language give offense; A barbarous phrase no reader can approve; Nor bombast, noise, or affectation love. In short, without pure language, what you write Can never yield us profit ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 5 • Various

... the bombast rolls, and one brags against the other like systole and diastole which balance each other in the same heart. But the worst of the matter is, that Prince Henry and Hotspur, as we have already noticed, have both the same soul and the same ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... during his lifetime, but a small collection of his poems, published after his death, gained him a posthumous recognition as the greatest Danish poet of the 18th century. Stub's style is extremely noble and expressive, devoid of the excessive bombast and sentimentality that many writers then mistook for poetry. He was of a cheerful disposition with a hopeful outlook upon life that only occasionally is darkened by the hardships and disappointments of his own existence. Even the poems of his darker ...
— Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark • Jens Christian Aaberg

... "concerns the lad himself. His mother, you will understand, cannot run any risk of being brought in contact with that woman. Nor is she physically fit for the voyage; but someone must go, if only to content her. There has been some wild talk of suicide, apparently—mere bombast, of course, like so much of it, ...
— Sir George Tressady, Vol. II • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... and emphatically, neither with bombast, nor with rage, and Marguerite saw in his face nothing but a calm and ferocious determination, the determination of an entire nation embodied in this one man, to be revenged at any cost. She would not let him see the depth of her despair, nor would she let him read in her face the unutterable ...
— The Elusive Pimpernel • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... away by their influence till after my uncle had procured me several opportunities of proving my proficiency in my calling. I may say without vanity that my speeches won approval; but I was revolted by the pompous, flowery bombast, without which I should have been hissed down, and though my parents rejoiced when I went home from Niku, Arsmoe, or some other little provincial town, with laurel-wreaths and gold pieces, to myself ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... it. Take the average American military audience: what can be said fairly of its main characteristics? Perhaps this—that it is moderately reflective; that it is ready to give the untried speaker a break; that it does not like windiness, bombast or prolonged moralizing; that it refuses to be bullied; and that it can usually be won by the light touch and a little appeal to its sporting instinct. It is the little leavening in the bread which makes all the difference in its savor ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... loathsome dungeons, never to be at peace with those fiends the refugees, whose thefts, murders, and treasons have filled the cup of woe." Tons of pamphlets, issued under the customary Latin pseudonyms, were filled with this truculent bombast; and like sentiments were thundered from the pulpit by men who had quite forgotten for the moment their duty of preaching reconciliation and forgiveness of injuries. Why should not these wretches, it was sarcastically asked, be driven at once from the country? Of course ...
— The Critical Period of American History • John Fiske

... very unlikely that in most cases he did so, unless in the first years of his career of authorship. And certainly he never can have thought it artistic to leave inconsistencies, obscurities, or passages of bombast in his work. Most of the defects in his writings must be due to ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... or thoughts, were themselves sweet. Mr. C. was asked what he thought of Klopstock. He answered, that his fame was rapidly declining in Germany; that an Englishman might form a correct notion of him by uniting the moral epigram of Young, the bombast of Hervey, and the minute description of Richardson. As to sublimity, he had, with all Germans, one rule for producing it;—it was, to take something very great, and make it very small in comparison with that which you wish to elevate. Thus, for example, Klopstock says,—'As ...
— Specimens of the Table Talk of S.T.Coleridge • Coleridge

... different all this acting to what I find in France! Here the theatre is living; you see something really good, and good throughout. Not one touch of that stage strut and vulgar bombast of tone, which the English actor fancies indispensable to scenic illusion, is tolerated here. For the first time in my life I saw something represented in a style uniformly good, and should have found sufficient proof, if I had ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... force to put the sin at a distance. And at last his eyes seemed to open to some new ways. He found that he could look back upon the brass and bombast of his earlier gospels and see them truly. He was gleeful when he discovered that he now ...
— The Red Badge of Courage - An Episode of the American Civil War • Stephen Crane

... sort, Roger," he said at last, with an embarrassment that contrasted strangely with the bombast of a moment ago. "I—I'm glad you did that. I think you're about the only person in the world I'd have taken it from. But I haven't drunk much. I couldn't get to be much of a drunkard in three weeks, could I?" He smiled his boyish ...
— Paradise Garden - The Satirical Narrative of a Great Experiment • George Gibbs

... Roderigo Calderon!" said the prince, with bitter sneer. "Man, know thy station and thy profession. When I want homilies, I seek my confessor; when I have resolved on a vice, I come to thee. A truce with this bombast. For Fonseca, he shall be consoled; and when he shall learn who is his rival, he is a traitor if he remain discontented with his lot. ...
— Calderon The Courtier - A Tale • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... savors of bombast to many Americans, but in the history of political and military oratory in their own land they can find an endless number of speeches that, in that particular quality, rival if they do not surpass it. The Cuban situation was desperate, and the ...
— Cuba, Old and New • Albert Gardner Robinson

... exception played in history, and he depicted to Fairhaven the many glories of Fairhaven—past, present and approaching—in superlatives that would hardly have seemed inadequate if applied to Paradise. His oration, in short, was of a piece with the amiable bombast that the college students and Fairhaven at large were accustomed to applaud at every Finals—the sort of linguistic debauch that John Charteris himself remembered to have applauded as an undergraduate more years ago than he ...
— The Certain Hour • James Branch Cabell

... soldiers at Rieka had over and over again been telling the Croats, "then we shall not halt before we come to Zagreb, your capital." Those five will perhaps some day explain to their comrades how quickly Zagreb can be reached.... As yet those whom they left behind them had not lost their bombast: a manifesto was issued by them which declared that five true patriots had sallied forth to Saint Anna, for the purpose of parleying with the Constituent Assembly, and that in a barbarous fashion they had been arrested, maltreated ...
— The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 2 • Henry Baerlein

... to himself the credit of having advised the despatch of a letter to Strongbow. He also gives us the letter, which probably was his own composition, as it is written in the same strain of bombast as his praises of his family.—Hib. Expug. lib. i. c. 12. It commences thus: "We have watched the storks and swallows; the summer birds are come and gone," &c. We imagine that Dermod's style, if he had taken to epistolary correspondence, ...
— An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 • Mary Frances Cusack

... woman who through all confusion and filthiness keeps her adamantine soul unscathed, to the moment when she attains her destiny, namely, to spend a night of love with the dying Agathon Geyer and to bear him the first child of a better time, Beatus, the fortunate. Sultry sensuality and outrageous bombast characterize the work, the action of which is not clearly set forth, but floats in a sea of nebulous somnambulistic vagueness. Visionary representation and mythical creation are indeed the program which Wassermann lays out for himself in a theoretical treatise, ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... objective point was the grave of Douglas, which became by the time he arrived the grave also of his own reputation and the hopes of his partisans. His speeches on the route were a volcanic outbreak of vulgarity, conceit, bombast, scurrility, ignorance, insolence, brutality, and balderdash. Screams of laughter, cries of disgust, flushings of shame, were the various responses of the nation he disgraced to the harangues of this leader of American "conservatism." Never before ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 109, November, 1866 • Various

... wits, accordingly, who are never wanting in any reign, either to eulogize what the government has sanctioned, or to infuse something of literary immortality into popular enthusiasm, were in requisition on this extraordinary occasion, and, as usual, vied with each other in bombast and the fervour of exaggeration. If one might credit the legends, Sir Francis accomplished much more than a visit to the antipodes, much more indeed, than ever man did before or since. Witness an epigram on him preserved in the Censura Literaria. ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14 • Robert Kerr

... character. In such a costume and masque, play of feature and easy gesture is impossible; but the actors carry themselves with a stately dignity and recite their often ponderous lines with a grace which redeems them from all bombast. An essential part of the play is the chorus; indeed the chorus was once the main feature of the drama, the actors insignificant innovations. With fifteen members for the tragedy, twenty-four for the comedy,[*] old men of Thebes, Trojan ...
— A Day In Old Athens • William Stearns Davis

... Potomac!" If a succession of defeats are equal to one victory—on the principle of two negatives making an affirmative—or if nothing added to a cipher brings out a substantial product, there may possibly be something in these words beyond the desperation of bombast, otherwise—— ...
— Border and Bastille • George A. Lawrence

... But at this absurd second intrusion on his decidedly private dinner-party he flipped to the center of the room and said "I beg your pardon!" in such a head-office manner that the pink-locked Mystery halted in his bombast. Claire felt wabbly. She had no theories as to where Milt had acquired a private jester, nor as to what was about to happen to Milt—and possibly to ...
— Free Air • Sinclair Lewis

... language of tragedy in his Tamburlaine, written before 1587, and in subsequent plays he brought it to a degree of strength and flexibility which left little for Shakspere to do but to take it as he found it. Tamburlaine was a crude, violent piece, full of exaggeration and bombast, but with passages here and there of splendid {105} declamation, justifying Ben Jonson's phrase, "Marlowe's mighty line." Jonson, however, ridiculed, in his Discoveries, the "scenical strutting and furious vociferation" ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... the court of Queen Elizabeth, and is said to have introduced so remarkable a change in our language, I have seen and read. It is an unnatural affected jargon, in which the perpetual use of metaphors, allusions, allegories, and analogies, is to pass for wit, and stiff bombast for language; and with this nonsense the court of Queen Elizabeth (whose times afforded better models for stile and composition, than almost any since) became miserably infected, and greatly help'd to let in all the vile pedantry of language in the two following ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume I. • Theophilus Cibber

... sparingly; must use them more freely as the emotion rises; and must carry them to their greatest extent, only where the emotion reaches a climax. The entire contravention of these principles results in bombast or doggerel. The insufficient respect for them is seen in didactic poetry. And it is because they are rarely fully obeyed, that so much poetry ...
— Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects - Everyman's Library • Herbert Spencer

... English poetry—of solid honest thought expressed in straight forward Saxon. The story, which is one of the chivalrous days of Spain, while it is devoid of trick is full of thrilling interest, and its style, while it is eminently poetical, neither swells into bombast nor descends to the foppery so common among the verse-makers of our day. There is a stately, old-fashioned tread in the diction, as of a man in armor, who, should he attempt to gather flowers of mere prettiness, ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 4 October 1848 • Various

... Deutschland auf." Reden Friedrich Wilhelms, p. 9. In conversation with Bassermann Frederick William at a later time described his ride through Berlin as "a comedy which he had been made to play." The bombast at any rate ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... this art best? Nowhere better than the open book of nature, written with God's own finger." We shall see, however, that this "book of nature" taught Paracelsus some very strange lessons. Modesty was not one of these. "Now at this time," he declares, "I, Theophrastus Paracelsus, Bombast, Monarch of the Arcana, was endowed by God with special gifts for this end, that every searcher after this supreme philosopher's work may be forced to imitate and to follow me, be he Italian, Pole, Gaul, German, or whatsoever ...
— A History of Science, Volume 2(of 5) • Henry Smith Williams

... flowers on a grave," is the wonderful perfection of its songs. There are no less than thirteen in this play, some of them the wild mockery remind us of their faults. A turgid inflation in the tragic passages, a tendency to bombast, even more apparent in the man of forty-six than in the boy of nineteen, mar the calm strength of many of his scenes. The cloying sweetness that overloaded the verses of his juvenile work he left behind him as he grew ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873 • Various

... concealing his troops, remained on the watch for a few days longer. His anxiety, however, to bring his enemy to battle was even greater than usual. Pope had already gained an unenviable notoriety. On taking over command he had issued an extraordinary address. His bombast was only equalled by his want of tact. Not content with extolling the prowess of the Western troops, with whom he had hitherto served, he was bitterly satirical at the expense of McClellan and of McClellan's army. "I have ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... very ordinary thoughts in the most extraordinary expressions and the most outlandish, artificial, and rarest phrases. Their sentences perpetually stalk about on stilts. With regard to their delight in bombast, and to their writing generally in a grand, puffed-up, unreal, hyperbolical, and acrobatic style, their prototype is Pistol, who was once impatiently requested by Falstaff, his friend, to "say what you have to say, like a ...
— Essays of Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... third, unless he be alive to the glory of the first. But Cicero's acknowledgments have all been taken as proof against himself. All manner of evil is argued against him from his own words, when an ill meaning can be attached to them; but when he speaks of his great aspirations, he is ridiculed for bombast and vanity. On the strength of some perhaps unconsidered expression, in a letter to Atticus, he is condemned for treachery, whereas the sentences in which he has thoughtfully declared the purposes of his very soul are counted ...
— Life of Cicero - Volume One • Anthony Trollope

... with this chastened English prose, we have men of genius who have fallen into evil habits. Bulwer, who knew better, would quite revel in a stagey bombast; Dickens, with his pathos and his humour, was capable of sinking into a theatrical mannerism and cockney vulgarities of wretched taste; Disraeli, with all his wit and savoir faire, has printed some rank fustian, and much slip-slop gossip; and George Meredith at times ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... lay-followers do sincerely, as a shirtless fellow with a cudgel under his arm doth a face-wringing ballad-singer, a water-bearer on the floor of a playhouse, a wide-mouthed poet that speaks nothing but blathers and bombast. Otherwise, for life and profession, nature and art, inward and outward, they agree in all; like canters and gypsies, they are all zeal no knowledge, all purity no humanity, all simplicity no honesty, and if you never trust them they ...
— Character Writings of the 17th Century • Various

... bombast of the self-pushing scientists, are founded all such un-Christian and un-American doctrines as socialism and anarchism and the lusts of feminism, with all their followers, such as Shaw and the fellow who tried ...
— The Trail of the Hawk - A Comedy of the Seriousness of Life • Sinclair Lewis

... his own life). The tragic note is sounded, with impressive authority and force, in the brief introduction, largo maestoso. The music, from the first, drives to the very heart of the subject: there is neither pose nor bombast in the presentation of the thought; and this attitude is maintained throughout—in the ingratiating loveliness of the second subject, in the fierce striving of the middle section, in the noble and sombre slow movement,—a largo of profound pathos ...
— Edward MacDowell • Lawrence Gilman

... understood by those that write about it; and I did not get acquainted with one of the writers. I should like to be intimate with Mr. Anstey, even though he wrote Lord Buckhorse, or with the author of the Heroic Epistle—I have no thirst to know the rest of my contemporaries, from the absurd bombast of Dr. Johnson down to the silly Dr. Goldsmith, though the latter changeling has had bright gleams of parts, and the former had sense, till he changed it for words, and sold it for a pension. Don't ...
— Calamities and Quarrels of Authors • Isaac D'Israeli

... noble pursuit of Truth,' and so on. I don't care for such phrases; they may mean something, but as a rule come of the very spirit so opposed to my own—that which feels it necessary to justify art by bombast. The one object I have in life is to paint a bit of the world just as I see it. I exhaust myself in vain toil; I shall never succeed; but I am right to persevere, I am right to ...
— The Emancipated • George Gissing

... bring it about but British greed, and the British lust for paramountcy and suzerainty and possession? Liberal, or Conservative, or Radical, or Unionist, the diplomats and lawyers and financiers who urge on your political machinery by bombast and bribes and catchwords and lying promises, are swayed by one motive—governed by one desire—lands and diamonds and gold. Wealth that is the property of other men, soil that has been fertilised by the sweat of a nation of agriculturists, whom Great Britain ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... the crowd was hanging on his words with breathless attention, he appealed no longer directly to the people, but drew, in graphic language, the picture of the desolations brought by war. The simplicity of his phrases, his entire absence of showiness or bombast, made his influence indescribably deep and powerful. A mere ranter, a frothy mob orator, would have been silenced ...
— We Two • Edna Lyall

... V.ii.790 (465,5) [As bombast, and as lining to the time] This line is obscure. Bombast was a kind of loose texture not unlike what is now called wadding, used to give the dresses of that time bulk and protruberance, without much increase of weight; whence the same name is given a tumour of words unsupported ...
— Johnson's Notes to Shakespeare Vol. I Comedies • Samuel Johnson

... undeceive men who would not be convinced, so I accordingly gave them, as they say, "the length of their tether;" nay, to such, purpose did I ply them with proofs of it, that my conversation soon became as fine a specimen of pedantic bombast as ever was uttered. Not a word under six feet could come out of my lips, even of English; but as the best English, after all, is but commonplace, I peppered them with vile Latin, and an occasional verse in Greek, from ...
— The Ned M'Keown Stories - Traits And Stories Of The Irish Peasantry, The Works of - William Carleton, Volume Three • William Carleton

... other time should I advise you to go any further," said Madeline laughingly, for it was hard to take the bombast of Mr. Early very seriously. He made her think now of a sort of pouter pigeon. And Sebastian remained only partly satisfied as to the effect which he wished to produce. He wanted to give her something to think about, and so make way for the more impassioned wooing that he was ...
— Jewel Weed • Alice Ames Winter

... Voltaire, and Gibbon. Yet it is not the thing. I have a conception of history more just, I am confident, than theirs."[68] "Gibbon," said Carlyle in a public lecture, is "a greater historian than Robertson but not so great as Hume. With all his swagger and bombast, no man ever gave a more futile account of human things than he has done of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire; assigning no profound cause for these phenomena, nothing but diseased nerves, and all sorts ...
— Historical Essays • James Ford Rhodes

... Scotch job. Sheridan takes the lead in it, and comes plumed with his laurels gathered in Westminster Hall. His speech there contained some wonderful stroke in the declamatory style, something fanciful, poetical, and even sublime; sometimes, however, bombast, and the logic not satisfactory, at least to my mind. The performance, however, was a work of great industry, and great genius; and he has had compliments enough on it to turn his head, if to those qualities he does not add great good sense; ...
— Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 1 (of 2) • The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... an opportunity. There is a good deal of swagger about him; he believes in carry a stick and turning it; in admiring himself and letting other people know that he is of a cypher; there is much conceit and ever so much bombast about him; he likes giving historical lectures; thinks he is an authority on everything appertaining to Elizabeth, Mary, the Prince of Orange, &c.; is fond of attacking Bishop Goss, and getting into a groove of garrulous declamation concerning Papists; ...
— Our Churches and Chapels • Atticus

... between his quiet, calm demeanour, and the absurd airs, and noisy brawls, and the dapper uniforms of the young fellows one meets with in the fashionable quarters. It is the difference between reality and sham, bravery and bombast. ...
— Diary of the Besieged Resident in Paris • Henry Labouchere

... he communicates with the greatest power; though the melancholy is too dreamy to deserve the name of passion, and the terror of the infinite is not explicitly connected with any religious emotion. It is a proof of the fineness of his taste, that he scarcely ever falls into bombast; we tremble at his audacity in accumulating gorgeous phrases; but we confess that he is justified by the result. The only exception that I can remember is the passage in 'The English Mailcoach,' ...
— Hours in a Library, Volume I. (of III.) • Leslie Stephen

... epitaph, dublus sed ron improbus vin.(65) What a noble author have I here to add to my Catalogue! For the other noble author, Lord Lyttelton, you will find his work paltry enough; the style, a mixture of bombast, poetry, and vulcarisms. Nothing new in the composition, except making people talk out of character is so. Then he loves changing sides so much, that he makes Lord Falkland and Hampden cross over and figure in like people ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole Volume 3 • Horace Walpole

... when Greene wrote his Groatsworth, "Shakescene" thinks he can bombast out a blank verse with the best; he is an actor, he is also an author, or a furbisher of older plays, and, as a member of the company, is a rival to be dreaded by Greene's three author friends: whoever they were, they were professional University playwrights; the critics ...
— Shakespeare, Bacon and the Great Unknown • Andrew Lang

... his cruel order for the killing of the children. But when the foul deed is done there await the murderer two kings whom he cannot slay, Death and the Devil. A banquet is in full swing, Herod's officers are about him, the customary rant and bombast is on his lips when those two steal in. 'While the trumpets are sounding, Death slays Herod and his two soldiers suddenly, and the Devil receives them'—so runs the ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

... street, the railway guard, the 'bus conductor, the "shover," the humbler clerks, and their womenfolk, who are patrons of the gallery; will they get beyond one visit? Can they recognize profound thoughts at first hearing, or at all? Are they able to distinguish beautiful blank verse from bombast? Are the soliloquies of Hamlet likely to lure them to the severe intellectual task ...
— Our Stage and Its Critics • "E.F.S." of "The Westminster Gazette"

... very reverse of vigorous, and like those cushions for women's heads, which seem able to stand their ground, but in reality yield and give way under their pressure; so this sham outspokenness is puffed up and inflated with an empty and spurious and hollow bombast, that when it contracts and collapses draws in the person who relies on it. For true and friendly outspokenness attacks wrong-doers, bringing pain that is salutary and likely to make them more careful, like honey biting but cleansing ulcerated parts of the body,[413] ...
— Plutarch's Morals • Plutarch

... time of heroes and of highly ornamented lays, and we are not surprised to find truth covered up beneath a mass of fulsome bombast. It is related that Tarquinius now obtained the help of Prince or Lars Porsena of Clusium in Etruria, and with a large army proceeded undisturbed quite up to the Janiculum Hill on his march to Rome. ...
— The Story of Rome From the Earliest Times to the End of the Republic • Arthur Gilman

... the evil. Hence, in Falconer the obsolete mythological allusions—the names with classical terminations—the perpetual apostrophes—the set and stilted speeches he puts into the mouths of heroes—the bombast, verbiage, and sounding sameness of much of his verse. Nor do we greatly admire the story which he introduces with the poem, nor the discrimination of his characters, nor, what may be called strictly, ...
— The Poetical Works of Beattie, Blair, and Falconer - With Lives, Critical Dissertations, and Explanatory Notes • Rev. George Gilfillan [Ed.]

... have, and no lack of all the panoply of old-time chivalry and war can make a friendship slipping into love less than a beautiful and wondrous thing. It is perhaps in some ways to be regretted that the inspiring bombast of the elder days is no longer in vogue—the grandiloquent arrogance that led a man to tie a lady's ribband to his arm and proclaim on fear of sudden death her puissance of beauty throughout the world. This is perhaps unfortunate; but through added reticence ...
— White Ashes • Sidney R. Kennedy and Alden C. Noble

... of the spurious forms of art that sprang out of this tendency—especially the romance and the history assuming the form of romance—the very style of these Asiatics was, as may readily be conceived, abrupt and without modulation and finish, minced and effeminate, full of tinsel and bombast, thoroughly vulgar and affected; "any one who knows Hegesias," says Cicero, "knows ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... detestation of what he deemed a fraud, by his dislike for what he heard was Macpherson's private character, and by his prejudice against all unrhymed poetry, whether it was blank verse or rhythmical prose. And yet, his own prose was rhythmical, and often as tumid as the worst bombast in Macpherson. He was too, on the whole, an artificial writer, while the best parts of Ossian are natural. He allowed himself therefore to see distinctly and to characterise severely the bad things in the book—where it sunk into ...
— The Celtic Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, November 1875 • Various

... away by the first change. Of the half which was still in possession of the besieged about one-third was now set off, and in this little corner of earth, close against the new harbour, was set up their last refuge. They called the new citadel Little Troy, and announced, with pardonable bombast, that they would hold out there as long as the ancient Trojans had defended Ilium. With perfect serenity the engineers set about their task with line, rule, and level, measuring out the bulwarks and bastions, the miniature salients, half-moons, and ditches, as neatly and methodically as if there ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... silence there would be little pleasure. The cause of mirth also differs as the persons affected, and the farce which creates a roar in the pit will often not raise a smile in the boxes. Swift writes—"Bombast and buffoonery, by nature lofty and light, soar highest of all in the theatre, and would be lost in the roof, if the prudent architect had not contrived for them a fourth place called the twelvepenny gallery and there planted a suitable ...
— History of English Humour, Vol. 2 (of 2) • Alfred Guy Kingan L'Estrange

... divines, Come, and dance on the spot where your tyrant reclines: When Satire and Censure encircl'd his throne, I fear'd for your safety, I fear'd for my own; But now he is gone, and we want a detector, 85 Our Dodds shall be pious, our Kenricks shall lecture; Macpherson write bombast, and call it a style, Our Townshend make speeches, and I shall compile; New Lauders and Bowers the Tweed shall cross over, No countryman living their tricks to discover; 90 Detection her taper shall quench to a spark, And Scotchman meet Scotchman, ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith • Oliver Goldsmith

... question of filling a sheet of foolscap with grammatical sentences, discovering synonyms for words hard to spell. Now thoughts were hot in him, and the art lay in finding words which would blister and scorch. Time after time he tore up a page of bombast or erased ridiculous flamboyancies. Late at night, with a burning head and ice-cold feet, he made his last copy, folded it up, and, distrusting the cooler criticism of the morning, went out and posted it to ...
— Hyacinth - 1906 • George A. Birmingham

... was awake, he was full of bombast, that major! When he was asleep he snored outrageously. Ugh! For the first time in my life I hate anybody," ...
— Ruth Fielding at the War Front - or, The Hunt for the Lost Soldier • Alice B. Emerson

... Bard, with such a snow-storm in his imagination, when telling the shepherds to be kind to their helpless charge, addressed them in language which, in an ordinary mood, would have been bombast. "Shepherds," says he, "baffle the raging year!" How? Why merely by filling their pens with food. ...
— Recreations of Christopher North, Volume 2 • John Wilson

... came from the lions, whereof there were great numbers in this veld. The prevalence of these hungry beasts forced us to watch our cattle very closely while they grazed, and at night, wherever it was possible, to protect them and ourselves in "bombast," or fences of thorns, within which we lit fires to scare away wild beasts. Notwithstanding these precautions, we lost several of the oxen, and ourselves had ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard

... letters, one is struck with the diplomatically(?) cunning composition of them. There does not seem to be a manly phrase from beginning to end. Trickery, suspicion, cruelty, veiled or apparent, and an occasional dash of pious consideration and bombast sums up these perfidious documents. A few extracts will convey precisely the character of the men who were carrying on negotiations which should have been ...
— The Tragedy of St. Helena • Walter Runciman

... of time yet. Liberty, my dear Miss Rossano, will restore your father to health, and he will not lose his share of the glory." We English always excuse a foreigner who shows a tendency to bombast in conversation; and allowing for her partial knowledge of the language, and for the oratorical turn her people have, I saw nothing overstrained in the little woman's raptures. I had even a modified belief in their reality; ...
— In Direst Peril • David Christie Murray

... that is mere bombast! Why, man, the Bartons, father and sons, have been the family solicitors of the Mainwarings for the past fifty years. The old firm of Barton & Sons had charge of the settlement of the estate when it ...
— That Mainwaring Affair • Maynard Barbour

... know. (He sits on chair, head of table.) He's got just the same regard for the truth, the same sublime contempt of the world, and the same amount of bombast and good opinion of himself that I started with, I only hope he'll make better use of his chances, and carve out a better ...
— I'll Leave It To You - A Light Comedy In Three Acts • Noel Coward

... a single statesman or a single newspaper appeared to have any conception of the serious task before them. The fusillades of rant, passion and bombast which filled the air would have been comic but for the grim tragedy which was stalking in ...
— The Victim - A romance of the Real Jefferson Davis • Thomas Dixon

... two particular claims upon our regard. He gave us laudanum, a discovery of incalculable blessing to mankind. And from his fourth baptismal name, which he inherited from his father, we have our familiar term, 'bombast.' Readers interested in the known facts concerning the "master-mind, the thinker, the explorer, the creator," the forerunner of Mesmer and even of Darwin and Wallace, who began life with the sounding ...
— Life of Robert Browning • William Sharp

... poet of nature. He had raised the issue of Shakespeare's learning, thus helping to emphasize the idea of Shakespeare as a natural genius; and in the Discoveries he had blamed his friend for too great facility and for bombast. ...
— Some Account of the Life of Mr. William Shakespear (1709) • Nicholas Rowe

... Lieut. Kerigan[665] was elected to the Royal Society at a time when his proposers must have known that his immediate object was to put F.R.S. on the title-page of a work against the tides. To give all I know, I may add that the editor of some very ignorant bombast about the "forehead of the solar sky," who did not know the difference between Bailly[666] and Baily,[667] received hints which induced him to withdraw his proposal for election into the Astronomical Society. But this ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan



Words linked to "Bombast" :   ornateness, grandiosity, bombastic, grandiloquence, fustian, claptrap, rant, magniloquence



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