Donald Trump’s Use Of The Word ‘Braggadocious’ During Monday Night’s Debate Called Out By Merriam-Webster

Donald Trump uses the word “braggadocious” a lot. But is “braggadocious” a real word? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary called out Trump’s use of the word “braggadocious” during Monday night’s first presidential debate.

While Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton debated issues that are important to American voters Monday night at Hofstra University in New York, Twitter users debated whether or not “braggadocious” is even a word.

Trump has said the word “braggadocious” quite a bit during the 2016 presidential campaign. On Thursday, Merriam-Webster published an article online about how Trump has actually used the word “braggadocious” during earlier debates.

Entertainment Weekly pointed out that a question on Twitter prompted Merriam-Webster to finally address Donald Trump’s use of the word “braggadocious.”


Merriam-Webster took to their own Twitter account, @MerriamWebster, Monday evening to explain that Trump is probably trying for the word “braggadocio” when he says “braggadocious.”


Simple definitions of the word “braggadocio,” as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, include an empty boasting, an arrogant pretension, and even cockiness.

“The annoying or exaggerated talk of someone who is trying to sound very proud or brave.”

Anyone who’s been following the 2016 presidential campaign can certainly agree that Trump has been all of those definitions at least a time or two. An article published on Discuss Much actually calls Donald Trump too “self-important,” saying that he’s “too cocky to help America.”

In fact, Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, brought up the point during CNN’s live debate coverage on Monday night that Trump may not have the temperament needed to run the country. However, Trump strongly disagreed, saying he has a much better temperament than Clinton has.

“I think my strongest asset by far is my temperament. I have a winning temperament.”

Trump actually used the word “braggadocious” in his opening statement during the second Republican debate on September 16, 2015, also hosted by CNN.

“I’m Donald Trump. I wrote the art of the deal. I say not in a braggadocious way. I’ve made billions of billions of dollars dealing with people all over the world, and I want to put whatever that talent is to work for this country.”

One YouTube viewer, Johan Oberg, actually called into question Trump’s use of the word “braggadocious” on September 17, the day after the GOP debate that took place in California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

After asking if “braggadocious” was even a word, another YouTube user, Bryce Pantoja, confirmed it was a word, but added that he even had to look it up in the dictionary to make sure Trump wasn’t making words up.

“Native English speaker here as well, and I had to look it up to make sure he wasn’t pulling a Bush on us and making up words.”

Pantoja was referring to the many “Bushisms” used during George W. Bush’s presidency from January 20, 2001, to January 20, 2009. Slate shared the 25 greatest “Bushisms” of all times in an article published in 2009, calling them Bush’s “verbal slip-ups.”


Author of the article, Jacob Weisberg, says he managed to collect 500 “Bushisms” since the first one Slate published in October 1999, including his 25 favorites.

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

“I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.”

Merriam-Webster says that the adjectival form of the noun “braggadocio” isn’t even common enough to merit an entry in the dictionary, even though Trump commonly uses the word “braggadocious.”

“It is thought to have come from ‘braggadocio’ (also not a common word today), which is considerably older.”

According to Heavy, Ted Cruz also used the word “braggadocious” in May, referring to Trump as a “braggadocious, arrogant buffoon.”

Variety reported on Tuesday that early ratings for the first 2016 presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton indicate a big viewer turnout, which also resulted in high search results for the word “braggadocious.”

The Washington Post calls “braggadocious” Trump’s favorite “humblebrag phrase” when describing his wealth, which Trump again did during Monday night’s debate.

“I have a tremendous income. And the reason I say that is not in a braggadocious way. It’s because it’s about time that this country had somebody running it that has an idea about money.”

Trump’s reference to the uncommon adjective during the debate prompted many viewers to turn to online dictionaries to understand what the word meant. The New York Times says “braggadocious” wasn’t the only word used Monday night that sent viewers to search.


Other word searches, such as temperament, stamina, cavalier, and even trumped-up, spiked above average on Merriam-Webster during and after the debate coverage on CNN.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Trump also resurrected the legitimate adverb “bigly” during the debate, which promptly sent viewers, who thought Trump had made the word up, into another internet search frenzy for the definition.

[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]