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Definition of "fustian" [fus•tian]

  • A coarse sturdy cloth made of cotton and flax. (noun)
  • Any of several thick twilled cotton fabrics, such as corduroy, having a short nap. (noun)
  • Pretentious speech or writing; pompous language. (noun)
  • Made of or as if of fustian: "[He] disliked the heavy, fustian ... and brocaded decor of Soviet officialdom” ( Frederick Forsyth). (adjective)
  • Pompous, bombastic, and ranting: "Yossarian was unmoved by the fustian charade of the burial ceremony” ( Joseph Heller). (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "fustian" in a sentence
  • "Others who have a great deal of fire, but have not excellent organs, feel the fore-mentioned motions, without the extraordinary hints; and these we call fustian writers. '"
  • "Quarry Bank had also begun weaving, and like many of the mills near here produced a fabric called fustian, also known as"
  • "I am much deceived if this be not abominable fustian, that is, thoughts and words ill-sorted, and without the least relation to each other; yet I dare not answer for an audience, that they would not clap it on the stage: so little value there is to be given to the common cry, that nothing but madness can please madmen, and the poet must be of a piece with the spectators, to gain a reputation with them."