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[fuhs-chuh n] /ˈfʌs tʃən/
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fustian
  • 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.
  • Don't squander the court's patience puffing your cheeks up on stately bombast and lofty fustian.
British Dictionary definitions for fustian


  1. a hard-wearing fabric of cotton mixed with flax or wool with a slight nap
  2. (as modifier): a fustian jacket
pompous or pretentious talk or writing
cheap; worthless
pompous; bombastic
Word Origin
C12: from Old French fustaigne, from Medieval Latin fustāneum, from Latin fustis cudgel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fustian

"thick cotton cloth," c.1200, from Old French fustaigne, from Medieval Latin fustaneum, probably from Latin fustis "staff, stick of wood," probably a loan-translation of Greek xylina lina "linens of wood" (i.e. "cotton"), but the Medieval Latin word also is sometimes said to be from Fostat, town near Cairo where this cloth was manufactured. [Klein finds this derivation untenable.] Figurative sense of "pompous, inflated language" recorded by 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for fustian

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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