Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English boosten, bosten, from bost (boast, glory, noise, arrogance, presumption, pride, vanity), probably of North Germanic origin, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *bausuz (inflated, swollen, puffed up, proud, arrogant, bad). Cognate with Scots bost, boist (to threaten, brag, boast), Anglo-Norman bost (ostentation) (from Germanic). Related to Norwegian baus (proud, bold, daring), dialectal German baustern (to swell), German böse (evil, bad, angry), Dutch boos (evil, wicked, angry), West Frisian boas (bad, wicked, angry, shrewd, clever). Compare also dialectal Norwegian bausta, busta (to rush onward, make a noise).


boast (plural boasts)

  1. A brag; ostentatious positive appraisal of oneself.
  2. Something that one brags about.
    It was his regular boast that he could eat two full English breakfasts in one sitting.
  3. (squash (sport)) A shot where the ball is driven off a side wall and then strikes the front wall.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


boast (third-person singular simple present boasts, present participle boasting, simple past and past participle boasted)

  1. (intransitive) To brag; to talk loudly in praise of oneself.
    • 2005, Lesley Brown (translator), Plato, Sophist, 235c.
      On no account will he or any other kind be able to boast that he's escaped the pursuit of those who can follow so detailed and comprehensive a method of enquiry.
  2. (transitive) To speak of with pride, vanity, or exultation, with a view to self-commendation; to extol.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 2”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      Lest bad men should boast / Their specious deeds.
    • 2013 June 21, Oliver Burkeman, “The tao of tech”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 27:
      The dirty secret of the internet is that all this distraction and interruption is immensely profitable. Web companies like to boast about "creating compelling content", or offering services that let you "stay up to date with what your friends are doing", [] and so on. But the real way to build a successful online business is to be better than your rivals at undermining people's control of their own attention.
  3. (obsolete) To speak in exulting language of another; to glory; to exult.
  4. (squash (sport)) To play a boast shot.
  5. (ergative) To possess something special.
    The hotel boasts one of the best views of the sea.
    His family boasted a famous name.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit


boast (third-person singular simple present boasts, present participle boasting, simple past and past participle boasted)

  1. (masonry) To dress, as a stone, with a broad chisel.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Weale to this entry?)
  2. (sculpting) To shape roughly as a preparation for the finer work to follow; to cut to the general form required.