empty suit

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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