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fustian

[fuhs-chuh n] /ˈfʌs tʃən/
noun
1.
a stout fabric of cotton and flax.
2.
a fabric of stout twilled cotton or of cotton and low-quality wool, with a short nap or pile.
3.
inflated or turgid language in writing or speaking:
Fustian can't disguise the author's meager plot.
adjective
4.
made of fustian:
a fustian coat; fustian bed linen.
5.
pompous or bombastic, as language:
fustian melodrama.
6.
worthless; cheap:
fustian knaves and dupes.
Origin
1150-1200
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
Synonyms
3. bombast, rant, claptrap.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for fustians

fustian

/ˈfʌstɪən/
noun
1.
  1. a hard-wearing fabric of cotton mixed with flax or wool with a slight nap
  2. (as modifier): a fustian jacket
2.
pompous or pretentious talk or writing
adjective
3.
cheap; worthless
4.
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 fustians

fustian

n.

"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 fustians

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fabric originally made by weaving two sets of cotton wefts, or fillings, on a linen warp, popular during the European Middle Ages.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.

Learn more about fustian with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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