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or highfalutin', hifalutin, hifalutin', highfaluting

[hahy-fuh-loot-n] /ˌhaɪ fəˈlut n/
adjective, Informal.
pompous; bombastic; haughty; pretentious.
Origin of highfalutin
1830-40; high + falutin (perhaps orig. flutin, variant of fluting, present participle of flute) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for highfalutin
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The first appears in a Senate debate of 1841; highfalutin in a political speech of the same decade.

    The American Language Henry L. Mencken
  • No use to beat about the bush and pretend to be highfalutin'.

    The Narrow House Evelyn Scott
  • "You're not going to cement it by a tariff or a highfalutin' proclamation," he answered.

    Sonia Between two Worlds Stephen McKenna
  • He's the only one of these fellows I've tackled who didn't tell me a lot of highfalutin rot they wanted put into the article.

    A Hoosier Chronicle Meredith Nicholson
  • I stuck to my colors—that's a highfalutin way of putting it—and I've got to pay the penalty.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills Charles Garvice
British Dictionary definitions for highfalutin


(informal) pompous or pretentious
Word Origin
C19: from high + -falutin, perhaps variant of fluting, from flute
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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Slang definitions & phrases for highfalutin



Overblown and pretentious; bombastic; stilted: take one with ideas less ''highfalutin' ''/ stilted, overstrained, and as the Americans would say, hifalutin

[1848+; origin unknown; originally a gerund, seemingly based on a verb high falute, suggesting a humorous alteration of flute; perhaps fr a blend of highflown with some other element; perhaps fr Dutch verlooten, ''stilted'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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