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1

tinsel

play
noun tin·sel \ˈtin(t)-səl also ˈtin-zəl\

Simple Definition of tinsel

  • : thin strips of shiny metal or paper that are used as decoration

  • : something that seems attractive or appealing but is of little worth

Full Definition of tinsel

  1. 1 :  threads, strips, or sheets of metal, paper, or plastic used to produce a glittering and sparkling appearance in fabrics, yarns, or decorations

  2. 2 :  something superficially attractive or glamorous but of little real worth <disfigured by no gaudy tinsel of rhetoric or declamation — Thomas Jefferson>

Examples of tinsel

  1. I like to decorate the Christmas tree with tinsel.

  2. He's not attracted to the tinsel and glitter of Hollywood.



Origin of tinsel

Middle English tyneseyle cloth interwoven with metallic thread, probably from Anglo-French tencelé, past participle of tenceler, estenceler to sparkle — more at stencil


First Known Use: 1538


2

tinsel

adjective tin·sel

Definition of tinsel

  1. 1 :  made of or covered with tinsel

  2. 2a :  cheaply gaudy :  tawdryb :  specious, superficial <tinsel promises>



1575

First Known Use of tinsel

1575


3

tinsel

transitive verb tin·sel

Definition of tinsel

tin·seled or tin·selledtin·sel·ing or tin·sel·ling play \ˈtin(t)-s(ə-)liŋ also ˈtin-zə-liŋ\

  1. 1 :  to interweave, overlay, or adorn with or as if with tinsel

  2. 2 :  to impart a specious brightness to



1594

First Known Use of tinsel

1594



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