Definition of popinjay in English:

popinjay

Line breaks: pop¦in|jay
Pronunciation: /ˈpɒpɪndʒeɪ
 
/

noun

  • 1 dated A vain or conceited person, especially one who dresses or behaves extravagantly.
    More example sentences
    • I am pretty sure I'm a drink-soaked popinjay myself, and formerly many things of a disreputable nature.
    • These weedy fly-bitten popinjays, these pribbling clumsy clay-brained miscreants - how dare they think they can share the same job title as me?
    • It is an oft-told story, but can still stir anger and pity, with the family feuding of the aristocratic popinjays commanding the brigade even spilling over onto the battlefield.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French papingay, via Spanish from Arabic babbaġā. The change in the ending was due to association with jay.

More definitions of popinjay

Definition of popinjay in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw