What is meant by "mushroom grandeur" in this context? Is it metaphorically means instant, like how mushroom blooms?

"What do you think of that?'' asked his expressive little eyes, when something cruel in "mushroom" grandeur or crude style passed by.

-Ceylon, the Paradise of Adam By Caroline Corner, pg 45-

  • Perhaps "puffed up" like a mushroom? Grandiloquent?
    – TimR
    Mar 4, 2019 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


A little more context from your source:

    “What do you think of that?” asked his expressive little eyes, when something in “mushroom” grandeur or crude style passed by. Bad form he could not endure, nor vulgar taste.


6.b. attrib. quasi-adj. with the sense: Resembling a mushroom in rapidity of development or growth or in brief duration of existence ; upstart ; ephemeral.

[among citations reaching back to 1599:] 1887 Westm. Rev. June 269 Radical millionaires, and mushroom aristocrats.

OED 1, s.v. Mushroom

Punch despises the tasteless grandeur affected by nouveaux riches.

  • 1
    The dictionary used in this answer is awesome :) Mar 5, 2019 at 9:32
  • 2
    @UpekhaVandebona It is indeed! It is widely regarded as the most authoritative dictionary of English, and is a joy to browse. Be aware, however, that this citation is from the 1st edition, published between 1884 and 1928; since then it has been continually updated and revised. The most recent "edition" is available only online and only by subscription, which is why I don't cite it; but it is accessible through most academic libraries and, I believe, through most public libraries in the UK. Mar 5, 2019 at 12:54

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