a flourish or short air played on trumpets or the like.
an ostentatious display or flourish.
publicity or advertising.

1760–70; < French, expressive word akin to fanfaron fanfaron. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fanfare (ˈfænfɛə)
1.  a flourish or short tune played on brass instruments, used as a military signal, at a ceremonial event, etc
2.  an ostentatious flourish or display
[C17: from French, back formation from fanfarer to play a flourish on trumpets; see fanfaronade]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, from Fr. fanfarer "blow a fanfare," perhaps echoic, or perhaps borrowed (with Sp. fanfarron "braggart," and It. fanfano "babbler") from Arabic farfar "chatterer."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


originally a brief musical formula played on trumpets, horns, or similar "natural" instruments, sometimes accompanied by percussion, for signal purposes in battles, hunts, and court ceremonies. The term is of obscure derivation

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The fourth inauguration was conducted without fanfare.
Tablets have been tried before, with similar fanfare, and have fallen flat.
The fanfare flattered him and he felt extremely proud of himself.
Paper after paper begins with a trumpet fanfare and ends with a plaintive bleat.
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