adjective taw·dry \ˈt-drē, ˈtä-\

: having a cheap and ugly appearance

: morally low or bad


Full Definition of TAWDRY

:  cheap and gaudy in appearance or quality; also :  ignoble <a tawdry attempt to smear his opponent>
taw·dri·ly \-drə-lē\ adverb
taw·dri·ness \-drē-nəs\ noun

Origin of TAWDRY

tawdry lace a tie of lace for the neck, from St. Audrey (St. Etheldreda) †679 queen of Northumbria
First Known Use: 1655

Synonym Discussion of TAWDRY

gaudy, tawdry, garish, flashy, meretricious mean vulgarly or cheaply showy. gaudy implies a tasteless use of overly bright, often clashing colors or excessive ornamentation <circus performers in gaudy costumes>. tawdry applies to what is at once gaudy and cheap and sleazy <tawdry saloons>. garish describes what is distressingly or offensively bright <garish neon signs>. flashy implies an effect of brilliance quickly and easily seen to be shallow or vulgar <a flashy nightclub act>. meretricious stresses falsity and may describe a tawdry show that beckons with a false allure or promise <a meretricious wasteland of casinos and bars>.

Rhymes with TAWDRY



Definition of TAWDRY

:  cheap showy finery

First Known Use of TAWDRY

circa 1680


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