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Definition talk in a dogmatic and pompous manner (as though much smarter than others and not concerned with their views)

Much more rarely, pontificate can reference the term of office of a pontiff (pope) or to administration of that office.
  • And Pius IX his predecessor's motto was Crux upon Crux—that is, Cross upon Cross—to show the difference between their two pontificates."
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners
  • He shifted his gaze and returned it to Galdhiem, who was still busy pontificating, his chest puffed out like that of a strutting pigeon.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Brisingr
  • Something about the river air, the wide open sky, had her pontificating, she laughed.
    Dave Eggers  --  A Hologram for the King
  • There's an edit and they cut away to the journalist, pontificating into the camera.
    Neal Stephenson  --  Snow Crash
  • Fresh from pontificating about hurricane floods, media climatologists were having their most lucrative Christmas in years.
    Nicholas Evans  --  The Horse Whisperer
  • The Grand Maester had been wont to stroke it when he pontificated.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Feast For Crows
  • He sits below the stage and pontificates.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Identity
  • They hear British news reports they cannot understand; they hear a Berlin woman pontificating about the proper makeup for a cocktail party.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See
  • His image is to appear as the guardian of robust morality as opposed to the business world, and he is invited pretty regularly to pontificate on television.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Fawley was a man who belonged to clubs and wore representative ties, pontificated on the skills of sportsmen and assumed a service rank in office correspondence.
    John Le Carre  --  The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
  • Playing out some moronic Bonanza where my thirty-year-old brothers were blindly taking orders from a pontificating, bigoted French Canadian father whose only smarts came with his money and his land.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • For these reasons his Holiness Pope Leo(*) found the pontificate most powerful, and it is to be hoped that, if others made it great in arms, he will make it still greater and more venerated by his goodness and infinite other virtues.
    Nicolo Machiavelli  --  The Prince
  • "AEneas Sylvius," say they, "after giving a very circumstantial account of one contested with great obstinacy by a great and small species on the trunk of a pear tree," adds that "this action was fought in the pontificate of Eugenius the Fourth, in the presence of Nicholas Pistoriensis, an eminent lawyer, who related the whole, history of the battle with the greatest fidelity."
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • Why are they pontificating the obvious to Colonel North?
    John Irving  --  A Prayer for Owen Meany
  • In some cities, such a thing would bring out the preachers and pontificators.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin'
  • For five days, my father listened to his roommate pontificate on the dangers of their new loose surroundings.
    Dumas Firoozeh  --  Funny in Farsi
  • In the airy chambers beneath the rookery, his girl served them boiled eggs, stewed plums, and porridge, while Pycelle served the pontifications.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Clash of Kings
  • When I reminded him of the Platt Amendment, of the way the Americans have interfered in our affairs from the very beginning, he waved his fat, jeweled hand dismissively and turned to Jorge, continuing his pontifications.
    Christina Garcia  --  Dreaming in Cuban
  • But you must note that the state of the Soldan is unlike all other principalities, for the reason that it is like the Christian pontificate, which cannot be called either an hereditary or a newly formed principality; because the sons of the old prince are not the heirs, but he who is elected to that position by those who have authority, and the sons remain only noblemen.
    Nicolo Machiavelli  --  The Prince
  • To restrain the Venetians the union of all the others was necessary, as it was for the defence of Ferrara; and to keep down the Pope they made use of the barons of Rome, who, being divided into two factions, Orsini and Colonnesi, had always a pretext for disorder, and, standing with arms in their hands under the eyes of the Pontiff, kept the pontificate weak and powerless.
    Nicolo Machiavelli  --  The Prince

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