gar·​ish | \ ˈger-ish How to pronounce garish (audio) \

Definition of garish

1 : clothed in vivid colors a garish clown
2a : excessively or disturbingly vivid garish colors garish imagery
b : offensively or distressingly bright : glaring
3 : tastelessly showy : flashy garish neon signs

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Other Words from garish

garishly adverb
garishness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for garish

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

Examples of garish in a Sentence

the wedding guest's thick makeup was garish and unnecessary
Recent Examples on the Web HBO Max's Gossip Girl is chock-full of gossip, gowns, and garish displays of wealth. Christopher Ros, Glamour, 7 July 2021 Sunnyvale’s garish mansions are cartoonishly gargantuan compared to the rundown Shadyside shacks, but the teens from each school all look and act and dress the same. Erik Kain, Forbes, 4 July 2021 Director Janicza Bravo paints this world with a garish palette. Lindsey Bahr, Star Tribune, 30 June 2021 The 10-episode first season is an endless parade of garish leotards, teased hair and ’80s needle drops from Depeche Mode to Stevie Nicks. Patrick Ryan, USA Today, 18 June 2021 His original proposal was even more garish, initially suggesting a Ferris wheel and 250-foot observation tower. Peter Hartlaub,, 12 Jan. 2021 One showed me his lure, a garish cicada plug shaped like a Jitterbug. Bill May,, 12 June 2021 Saybolt offers a collage of 25 stills from the cautiously feminist TV comedy about a single woman in New York, as well as an enlargement of one of the stills that’s printed out-of-register in garish pink and sickly green. Washington Post, 11 June 2021 For white mediums, communicating with spirits of other races could be a form of expiation, a way to confront violent histories and make cultural amends—or merely crude appropriation, garish performance art that was good for business. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'garish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of garish

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for garish

origin unknown

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Statistics for garish

Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Garish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for garish



English Language Learners Definition of garish

: too bright or colorful


gar·​ish | \ ˈger-ish How to pronounce garish (audio) \

Kids Definition of garish

: too bright or showy : gaudy She was dressed in garish colors.

Other Words from garish

garishly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on garish

Nglish: Translation of garish for Spanish Speakers


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