What does the phrase in bold mean? This is given in the book "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens. The sentence:
He was quite bald. His clothes were shabby but he had an air of great importance. His name was Mr Micawber.
It means that other people perceive him as important. He gives that impression, despite his clothes.
Having 'an air of great importance' indicates that he is acting haughty and superior; pretending to be better than he actually is.
"Once he started making money, he took on an air of great importance and became unbearable to his friends."