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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 grandiosity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I hate throwing away money on mere pomposity and grandiosity and show.

    The Martian George Du Maurier
  • What wonder if the inaccessible meal took upon itself the grandiosity of a wedding feast!

    The King of Schnorrers Israel Zangwill
  • That this grandiosity was unnatural and unreal was proved by the publication of Choses Vues.

    Views and Reviews William Ernest Henley
  • It was of a grandiosity which appealed to the imagination, but not to the practical judgment of a far-sighted statesman.

    Ten Tudor Statesmen Arthur D. Innes
  • I went again when I graduated high school and was amazed by the richness of detail, the grandiosity and grandeur of it all.

British Dictionary definitions for grandiosity


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 grandiosity

1814, from French grandiose (see grandiose) + -ity.

The author now and then makes a word for his own use, as complicate, for complicated; and, still less fortunately 'grandiosity' (p. 343). [review of Joseph Forsyth's "Remarks on Italy," "Edinburgh Review," January 1814]



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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