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

Keep scrolling for more

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 In the garish ball scene, on the balcony (and in the pool), but particularly in the hardship scenes, Danes is a formidable talent with breathtaking good looks. David Hunter, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Romeo + Juliet': THR's 1996 Review," 31 Oct. 2019 There’s a gag detailing a Nazi captain’s garish uniform designs. John Semley, The New Republic, "JoJo Rabbit’s Satire Fail," 17 Oct. 2019 Before the garish paychecks, before the questions about his attitude, before the four teams in three years, Marquese Chriss was a baby-faced college freshman who prioritized extra jumpers over a comfortable bed. Connor Letourneau,, "Marquese Chriss looks to resuscitate career with Warriors," 2 Oct. 2019 The Griswolds spend the holiday in a garish way, especially when a country cousin pulls up in an RV. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 As is MLB’s custom on Father’s Day, Sunday’s MLB action featured players in garish, hideous, why-did-they-do-this blue caps and accoutrements. Jon Tayler,, "The Rockies-Padres Series at Coors Field Was Bonkers in the Best Way Possible," 18 June 2019 And women candidates have to strike an incredibly tricky balance in the public eye: being confident without being boastful, being stylish without being either too garish or too frumpy, and appearing strong without being overbearing. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "“Likability” ratings in a recent New Hampshire poll show just how tough female candidates have it," 23 July 2019 In what would be a harbinger of a garish second quarter, CU’s ensuing drive was stopped after five plays at the Air Force 19. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "CU Buffs bit by Nebraska hangover, fall to Air Force in OT, 30-23," 14 Sep. 2019 In the postgame locker room, Abram showed no signs of an injury and was joking with reporters about his garish yellow hooded sweatshirt and cowboy hat. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Shoulder injury could put Raiders’ Johnathan Abram on injured reserve," 10 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of garish

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for garish

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about garish

Statistics for garish

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for garish

The first known use of garish was in 1545

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for garish


How to pronounce garish (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on garish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for garish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with garish

Spanish Central: Translation of garish

Nglish: Translation of garish for Spanish Speakers

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).


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!