verb (used without object)

  1. to speak with exaggeration and excessive pride, especially about oneself.
  2. to speak with pride (often followed by of): He boasted of his family’s wealth.

verb (used with object)

  1. to speak of with excessive pride or vanity: He boasts himself a genius.
  2. to be proud in the possession of: The town boasts a new school.


  1. a thing boasted of; a cause for pride: Talent is his boast. It is her boast that she has never betrayed a friend.
  2. exaggerated or objectionable speech; bragging: empty boasts and threats.

verb (used with object) Masonry.

  1. to dress or shape (stone) roughly.


  1. (intr; sometimes foll by of or about) to speak in exaggerated or excessively proud terms of one’s possessions, skills, or superior qualities; brag
  2. (tr) to possess (something to be proud of)the city boasts a fine cathedral


  1. a bragging statement
  2. a possession, attribute, attainment, etc, that is or may be bragged about


  1. (tr) to shape or dress (stone) roughly with a broad chisel


  1. a stroke in which the ball is hit on to one of the side walls before hitting the front wall


  1. to hit (the ball) in this way or make such a stroke

mid-13c., “arrogance, presumption, pride, vanity;” c.1300, “a brag, boastful speech,” from Anglo-French bost “ostentation,” probably via Scandinavian (cf. Norwegian baus “proud, bold, daring”), from Proto-Germanic *bausia “to blow up, puff up, swell” (cf. Middle High German bus “swelling,” dialectal German baustern “to swell;” Middle Dutch bose, Dutch boos “evil, wicked, angry,” Old High German bosi “worthless, slanderous,” German böse “evil, bad, angry”), from PIE *bhou-, variant of root *beu-, *bheu- “to grow, swell” (see bull (n.2)).

The notion apparently is of being “puffed up” with pride; cf. Old English belgan “to become angry, offend, provoke,” belg “anger, arrogance,” from the same root as bellows and belly (n.). Related: Boasted; boasting. An Old English word for “boasting” was micelsprecende, “big talk.”


early 14c., “to brag, speak arrogantly;” from the same source as boast (n.). Related: Boasted; boasting.

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