verb (used without object)
- to speak with exaggeration and excessive pride, especially about oneself.
- to speak with pride (often followed by of): He boasted of his family’s wealth.
verb (used with object)
- to speak of with excessive pride or vanity: He boasts himself a genius.
- to be proud in the possession of: The town boasts a new school.
- a thing boasted of; a cause for pride: Talent is his boast. It is her boast that she has never betrayed a friend.
- exaggerated or objectionable speech; bragging: empty boasts and threats.
verb (used with object) Masonry.
- to dress or shape (stone) roughly.
- (intr; sometimes foll by of or about) to speak in exaggerated or excessively proud terms of one’s possessions, skills, or superior qualities; brag
- (tr) to possess (something to be proud of)the city boasts a fine cathedral
- a bragging statement
- a possession, attribute, attainment, etc, that is or may be bragged about
- (tr) to shape or dress (stone) roughly with a broad chisel
- a stroke in which the ball is hit on to one of the side walls before hitting the front wall
- 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.