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[gran-dee-ohs] /ˈgræn diˌoʊs/
affectedly grand or important; pompous:
grandiose words.
more complicated or elaborate than necessary; overblown:
a grandiose scheme.
grand in an imposing or impressive way.
Psychiatry. having an exaggerated belief in one's importance, sometimes reaching delusional proportions, and occurring as a common symptom of mental illnesses, as manic disorder.
Origin of grandiose
1830-40; < French < Italian grandioso < Latin grandi(s) grand + -ōsus -ose1
Related forms
grandiosely, adverb
grandioseness, grandiosity
[gran-dee-os-i-tee] /ˌgræn diˈɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
1. pretentious, extravagant, flamboyant, splashy, high-flown. 2. Grandiose, showy, ostentatious, pretentious all refer to conspicuous outward display, either designed to attract attention or likely to do so. Grandiose and showy are alike in that they may suggest impressiveness that is not objectionable: the grandiose sweep of the arch; a fresh bouquet of showy zinnias. Grandiose, however, most often implies inflation or exaggeration to the point of absurdity: grandiose, impractical plans; a ridiculously grandiose manner. Showy sometimes suggests a meretricious gaudiness or flashiness: a showy taste in dress. Ostentatious, which refers to behavior or manner clearly designed to impress, also has negative connotations: an ostentatious display of wealth; an assumption of superiority too ostentatious to be ignored. Pretentious, like the preceding term, is always derogatory, implying falseness or exaggeration in claims made or implied: natural and straightforward, not pretentious; pretentious language designed to mask the absence of real content. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for grandiose
  • Clearly defined constitutional "musts" were done away with then replaced by grandiose guidelines that were vague and misty.
  • But if we are guilty of a kind of grandiose innocence, what we should not fall into in reaction is a kind of arch cynicism.
  • Dressler offers a true-to-life portrait of workaday astronomy, from grandiose goals to the human faces of its practitioners.
  • Given the grandiose intent of the discussion, that was surely disappointing.
  • Authors of self-help books often make grandiose promises that invite a skeptical look.
  • However, these grandiose dreams soon gave way to more practical concerns.
  • When you do big, grandiose things you have more of a feeling that you're getting somewhere.
  • Too grandiose a thought for a recipe, maybe, but heartfelt.
  • The meeting place is contemporary and, by the grandiose norm of this country, intimate.
  • It had burned through $830 million after making grandiose predictions of success.
British Dictionary definitions for grandiose


pretentiously grand or stately
imposing in conception or execution
Derived Forms
grandiosely, adverb
grandiosity (ˌɡrændɪˈɒsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Italian grandioso, from grande great; see grand
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 grandiose

1828 (earlier as a French word in English), from French grandiose "impressive" (18c.), from Italian grandioso, from Latin grandis "big" (see grand (adj.)). Related: Grandiosely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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