hot air


full of hot air,
also blow hot air


  • empty, exaggerated talk or writing.
  • unsubstantial or pretentious statements.
  • boastful talk.
  • mistaken, but pompous.
  • speaking a lot, particularly without saying anything meaningful or valuable.
  • full of exaggerations or lies.

Example Sentences

  1. Please do not pay any attention to Howard because he’s full of hot air.
  2. Did the salesperson inform you about anything new, or was she full of hot air?
  3. Bud provided us with hot air about his mother’s cousin.
  4. My two friends talk about politics but need to be better informed. They do not know what they are talking about. Therefore, I jog my memory that they are full of hot air, so it’s best to ignore them.
  5. Americans have realized that many government officials are just full of hot air. They deliver only some of what they promise during campaigns. 
  6. It’s hard to believe much of what John says. He’s talkative and full of hot air.
  7. It did not rain as the meteorologists predicted. They are blowing hot air.


The idiom “hot air” originated around the 1850s. An early citation of the phrase appears in The Gilded Age, a novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner initially published in 1873. They wrote that the airiest schemes inflated the capital’s hot air. Many times, people apply this term to politicians and other leaders.

In the phrase, two possible allusions occur. The first refers to exhaling air when people express their opinions in a dogmatic and pompous way. The idiom refers to verbose people. When talking nonstop, people breathe out hot air. The other way to interpret the phrase is how hot air balloons work. The fire in the middle of the basket below the balloon heats the air inside the balloon, causing it to expand. The expanded air is lighter than the air surrounding it, allowing the balloon to inflate and rise. You can think of this regarding conversing. People who speak much concerning things they do not understand could have an inflated sense of importance as they pass messages without value.

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