gar·ish | \ˈger-ish \

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

The styling is subtle but attractive, nothing too showy or garish, though the gap between the bed and the cap was huge. Robert Duffer,, "2019 Ram 1500 is the pickup truck for winning arguments," 2 July 2018 The ridiculous sideways look and the garish—even gruesome—grin are the same. Eve L. Ewing, GQ, "Bomani Jones Has a Funny Joke for You," 15 May 2018 And once Donald Trump won the presidency — and stamped his garish brand on deportation — a call for the abolition of internal immigration enforcement began steadily building within the Democratic grassroots. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Abolishing ICE Is About As Popular As Trump’s Immigration Agenda," 11 July 2018 Electro is a classic Ditko villain, drawn in a garish green costume adorned with yellow lightning bolts. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Steve Ditko’s Ordinary People," 10 July 2018 Designed with quilting that echoes its curvy shape, and logo detail to delight Rainbow Brite, the collection proves that the decade of decadence can, despite its garish reputation, be ever so chic. Hayley Phelan, New York Times, "How to Be a Poolside Pinup," 27 June 2018 The game was a big enough hit that a few other teams joined the promotion and, in turn, produced some garish contributions into this amusing, if totally odd moment in baseball history. Staff,, "Nine Innings: Solving the Yankees' Sonny Gray Problem, AL East Deciding Factors and Our Favorite Statcast Quirks," 2 July 2018 Much as opinions of that work were divided — some criticized it as garish, while others praised it as as vivid — conservationists disagree over whether restorations really restore biospheres, or create something that is less than genuine. Christopher Torchia, Fox News, "African wild dogs make comeback at Mozambican wildlife park," 22 June 2018 The pearlized cherry red upper gives the sneaker some pizazz, while the black sole, black Swoosh logo, and black laces keep the vibe from feeling too garish. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "The Nike Force Posite Is the Rare Sneaker Mashup That Works," 7 June 2018

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

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for garish

The first known use of garish was in 1545

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More Definitions for garish



English Language Learners Definition of garish

: too bright or colorful


gar·ish | \ˈger-ish \

Kids Definition of garish

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

Other Words from garish

garishly adverb

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Comments on garish

What made you want to look up garish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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