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used in a sentence
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Definition annoying attempt to sound smart or important

or more rarely (and typically in classic literature):

expressing wisdom or knowledge concisely
  • Too often, she answers a tough question with a sententious banality.
sententious = trying (but failing) to be verbally impressive
  • The program has outstanding cinematography and music with a little sententious narration.
  • sententious = concise and full of meaning
  • She hates his sententious manner of speaking.
  • sententious = annoying attempt to sound smart or important
  • She has grown a bit sententious in old age.
  • He was sententious and didactic that night.
    Dickens, Charles  --  Little Dorrit
  • The pilot turned out to be a good-natured specimen of his kind, condescending, sententious.
    Conrad, Joseph  --  Chance
  • 'Thoughtcrime is a dreadful thing, old man,' he said sententiously.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • sententiously = in an annoying attempt to sound smart
  • Algernon.  Then your wife will.  You don't seem to realise, that in married life three is company and two is none.

    Jack.  [Sententiously.]  That, my dear young friend, is the theory that the corrupt French Drama has been propounding for the last fifty years.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Importance of Being Earnest
  • sententiously = pompously moralizing
  • By my faith, he is very swift and sententious.
    William Shakespeare  --  As You Like It
  • 'The quickness of the hand deceives the eye,' said Poirot sententiously-and caught the sudden change in the Colonel's expression.
    Agatha Christie  --  Early Cases Of Hercule Poirot
  • "We must study resignation," said Mrs. Penniman, hesitating, but sententious at a venture.
    Henry James  --  Washington Square
  • "Three days afterwards he was in his grave," said Mrs. Bread, sententiously.
    Henry James  --  The American
  • 'After a blow,' said a Spiti man sententiously, 'it is best to sleep.'
    Rudyard Kipling  --  Kim
  • Colonel Cathcart clucked sententiously, shocked by the suggestion.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • Chang added, a little sententiously: "It has always been her way to spare her lovers the moment of satiety that goes with all absolute attainment."
    James Hilton  --  Lost Horizon
  • "There was many a good man went to the penny-a-week school with a sod of turf under his oxter," said Mr. Kernan sententiously.
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners
  • "My boy," said Caderousse sententiously, "one can talk while eating.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • He was sententious and didactic that night.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • Well, she says we ought to because they have to live very dull, stupid lives compared with think-picture people,' Petra said, somewhat sententiously.
    John Wyndham  --  The Chrysalids
  • A parable of the soul, as his Latin teacher had pointed out so sententiously, Amina being a crude anagram for anima.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace

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