empty suit

empty suit

A person with the appearance of authority, importance, or significance, but who, in reality, is completely ineffectual, incompetent, or unremarkable. My boss likes to think he's God's gift to the world, but he's just an empty suit who couldn't run the business for a day if it weren't for me.
See also: empty, suit

empty suit

An unimportant person; also, a phony. For example, Don't pay any attention to him-he's just an empty suit, or She acts as though she knows what she's doing, but she's really an empty suit. This graphic expression calls up the image of an empty suit of clothes. [c. 1970]
See also: empty, suit
References in periodicals archive ?
On the other hand, the US view of Gandhi has evolved, as in late 2007, US diplomats described the young politician, recently appointed to lead the Congress youth wing, as "widely viewed as an empty suit and will have to prove wrong those who dismiss him as a lightweight".
I fondly remember Mitchell Sharp and people of his intellect who moved more behind the scene on the global stage then today's uneducated, empty suit polit-jockeys.
Still, it is only fair to say that Mann demonstrates that Reagan was not what his conservative admirers believe--an aggressive man driving the Soviets to the brink and forcing a surrender--or what his liberal detractors suppose--at best, an empty suit against whom Gorbachev could play.
So powerful was her non-response that it sealed the impression of an empty suit in reasonable business and political circles, writers, leaders, students and anyone capable of reading a paragraph or two.
John Slattery as Roger Sterling oozes reptilian charm, and Jon Hamm as antihero Don Draper is a brilliant empty suit.
I never would have thought that it was even remotely possible that there could be a bigger empty suit in American politics than George Bush.
The Straight Talk Express launched an Empty Suit survey some weeks ago in hopes of elevating the presidential debate and adding stature to the ultimate empty suit, George W.
I thought I knew all about this year's candidates from newspaper stories, but when I saw how they handled themselves and heard what they said live and in person, I was amazed how quickly I realized who was an empty suit (or empty head) and who was a normal (OK, semi-normal) human being with the smarts and people skills to advance a sensible agenda.
We don't like to have an empty suit at our executive meetings," said Tony Lifrieri, who started in the business working as a painter and now oversees 28 million square feet for Silverstein Properties.
keening on a wind-swept beach, an empty suit strolling down Broadway.
Sadly, the glass reflects an empty suit who embodies the congressional Democrats' decision to reduce action on Iraq to a political calculus appropriate for the highway appropriations bill, not a moral imperative to challenge a policy that has sent thousands of twenty-somethings to their deaths in the desert.
Alexia Willetts is seen collecting the empty suit racks from Marks and Spencer, which has kindly lent them for the suit amnesty.
Rahul is widely viewed as an empty suit and will have to prove wrong those who dismiss him as a lightweight," said the cable, released by the WikiLeaks website.
This guy is truly an empty suit in the fine tradition of Bill Clinton.