Is the word pomp ever used without being followed by circumstance? It seems as though the word is only ever used to denote pomp and circumstance. Are there other uses?

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    Know of "pomp", but never even heard the phrase "pomp and circumstance" before. Apr 10, 2012 at 12:39
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    Are you asking whether the word is used without the complementary "and circumstance"? Because it is perfectly ordinary to use it alone, as in the solemn pomp of a military funeral.
    – Robusto
    Apr 10, 2012 at 12:42
  • @Mr.Disappointment I've never heard of it alone. How odd. Apr 10, 2012 at 12:45
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    @Mr.Disappointment "Pomp and Circumstance" is a set of marches by the composer Elgar. You'll be familiar with the first one, I'm sure, since it's also the tune to "Land of Hope and Glory".
    – Lunivore
    Apr 10, 2012 at 12:46

4 Answers 4



From the past month's headlines:

Tim Tebow introduced by Jets, with pomp befitting a star, if not a starter

Zimbabwe: Pomp, Fanfare As Book Cafe Reopens

Pomp, pageantry and royalty at 15th Zik Prize Award ceremony


I've also heard it used in 'pomp and pageantry', 'pomp and ceremony', 'pomp and show' and 'pomp and pride'.

I've not heard it used on its own, though. These days we tend to use 'pomposity' instead.

  • pomp and splendor is another oft-used pairing. See also books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – zpletan
    Apr 10, 2012 at 12:56
  • One of wiktionary's example sentences for pomposity mystifies me: "Your pomposity never ceases to astound me! Go do something unpleasant with a deer!" Apr 10, 2012 at 15:54
  • @jwpat7 The results from searching for the phrase are even more mystifying.
    – Lunivore
    Apr 10, 2012 at 22:27

Yes, it is, though it's much more common in its adjective form, pompous.


In the Anglican and RC English rituals of Baptism, pomps (generic plural only) occurs frequently:

  • ... that I should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh, ...

  • I renounce Satan, and his works, and his pomps, and his worships, and his angels, and his inventions, and all things that are under him.

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