panjandrum (păn-JĂN-drəm)

2014-11-03T12:00:12-05:00

Definition (Noun) (A mock title for) a mysterious (frequently imaginary) personage of great power or authority; a pompous or pretentious official; a self-important person in authority. In Context "During several months, hardly a week passed that Louis did not have occasion to greet some panjandrum alighting at a railroad depot and lead him in military pomp to the Tuileries Palace, where gala after gala preempted other, more banal affairs of state." Frederick Brown, For the Soul of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus, 2010.