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Probably from bump, on the pattern of words like fractious.


  • IPA(key): /ˈbʌmpʃəs/
  • Hyphenation: bump‧tious


bumptious (comparative more bumptious, superlative most bumptious)

  1. Obtrusively pushy; self-assertive to a pretentious extreme.
    • 1877, Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet:
      "There are no crimes and no criminals in these days," he said, querulously. "What is the use of having brains in our profession. I know well that I have it in me to make my name famous. No man lives or has ever lived who has brought the same amount of study and of natural talent to the detection of crime which I have done. And what is the result? There is no crime to detect, or, at most, some bungling villainy with a motive so transparent that even a Scotland Yard official can see through it." I was still annoyed at his bumptious style of conversation; I thought it best to change the topic.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 22, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      From another point of view, it was a place without a soul. The well-to-do had hearts of stone; the rich were brutally bumptious; the Press, the Municipality, all the public men, were ridiculously, vaingloriously self-satisfied.
    • 1928, Virginia Woolf, Orlando:
      She could stand it no longer. It was full of prying old women, she said, who stared in one's face, and of bumptious young men who trod on one's toes.

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