adj. Relating to something that appears impressive or that has pretensions to grandeur, but that is actually bland.
Other Forms
At a frighteningly precocious 17, [Tynan] had written that Laurence Olivier's Richard III "eats into the memory like acid into metal . . . slick, taunting and curiously casual," and he would later describe Ralph Richardson's voice as "something between bland and grandiose: blandiose, perhaps," and write about the "clockwork cunning" of a Feydeau farce.
—Geoffrey Wheatcroft, “All That Fizz,” The New York Times, December 09, 2001
Delivered in the mellifluous voice of a didactic monodrone, each track is a blandiose blend of political plea and claptrap rap.
—Linton Weeks, “Get Down With the Public Policy Rap,” The Washington Post, May 30, 2001
1989 (earliest)
The opening act, Restless Heart, presented a 45-minute set of synthesizer-glossed corn-pop that managed to be schlocky, grandstanding and dull all at once. The five-piece band drew appreciative whoops despite a lackluster performance made up mostly of blandiose romantic ballads in the tradition of such denizens of the pop dustbin as Firefall.
—Marty Hughley, “Judds give stellar performance,” The Oregonian, September 09, 1989
The coiner of this blend of bland and grandiose was almost certainly the writer Kenneth Tynan.
I don't know when Tynan wrote the phrase quoted in the first citation. He turned 17 in 1944, but his prime writing years (at least as a theater critic) were the late 50s and early 60s.
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