4

I've stumbled upon this word in Andrey Bely's (Bugaev's) Символизм как миропонимание (СПб 1994). Even in the early 20th century the word was used negatively referring to 'широковещательность метафизики'.

It may also be applied as a radio term, yet its basic meaning, according to dictionaries, is negative and 'fictional' (книжный).

When and how did it become a negative term?

3

I've only ever heard this word used in the sense of "wide-band" or "broadcasting" (e.g. широковещательный приемник). I doubt a native Russian these days would know the second meaning outside of context, leaving aside its possible negative connotations. I think it should be demoted to "устар." (obsolete).

2

According to Толковый словарь Ушакова, this term has the second meaning. I could translate it to English as "populist" or "promising" (ironic):

привлекающий обилием и многообразием обещаний

1
  • 1
    This word was mentioned in Kurbsky's letters to Ivan IV in late XVI but I can't trace it farther – Quassnoi Mar 9 '13 at 13:16

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