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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), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰew-, *bew- (to blow, inflate, swell). Cognate with Scots bost, boist (to threaten, brag, boast), Anglo-Norman bost ("ostentation"; < Germanic). Related to Norwegian baus (proud, bold, daring), German dialectal baustern (to swell), German böse (evil, bad, angry), Dutch boos (evil, wicked, angry), West Frisian boas (bad, wicked, angry, shrewd, clever). Compare also Norwegian dialectal 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, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 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.
    • John Milton
      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.
    • Bible, Psalms xiiv. 8
      In God we boast all the day long.
  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.