a stout fabric of cotton and flax.
a fabric of stout twilled cotton or of cotton and low-quality wool, with a short nap or pile.
inflated or turgid language in writing or speaking: Fustian can't disguise the author's meager plot.
made of fustian: a fustian coat; fustian bed linen.
pompous or bombastic, as language: fustian melodrama.
worthless; cheap: fustian knaves and dupes.

1150–1200; Middle English < Old French fustaigne < Medieval Latin fūstāneum, perhaps a derivative of Latin fūstis stick, cudgel (Late Latin: trunk; cf. fusty), if a translation of Latin xylinus, Greek (Septuagint) xýlina lína cotton, literally, linen from wood; Fostat, a suburb of Cairo, has also been proposed as the source of fūstāneum

3. bombast, rant, claptrap.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To fustian
World English Dictionary
fustian (ˈfʌstɪən)
1.  a.  a hard-wearing fabric of cotton mixed with flax or wool with a slight nap
 b.  (as modifier): a fustian jacket
2.  pompous or pretentious talk or writing
3.  cheap; worthless
4.  pompous; bombastic
[C12: from Old French fustaigne, from Medieval Latin fustāneum, from Latin fustis cudgel]

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

"thick cotton cloth," c.1200, from O.Fr. fustaigne, from M.L. fustaneum, probably from L. fustis "staff, stick of wood," probably a loan-translation of Gk. xylina lina "linens of wood" (i.e. "cotton"), but the M.L. word is also derived from Fostat, town near Cairo where this cloth was manufactured. Figurative
sense of "pompous, inflated language" first recorded c.1590.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


fabric originally made by weaving two sets of cotton wefts, or fillings, on a linen warp, popular during the European Middle Ages. The word has come to denote a class of heavy cotton fabrics, some of which have pile surfaces, including moleskin, velveteen, and corduroy.

Learn more about fustian with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
They are a sort of stately fustian, and lofty childishness.
Never rant or fustian, but a calm intensity, a manifest identification with the
  characters he portrayed.
For the fustian stuff that he is performing, this has a thoroughly broad
  appearance in this film.
Much of what happens in between is the stuff of fustian operetta.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature