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

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 Rather than being a garish hodgepodge of logos and zippers, the Cary is as clean and classic in appearance as my leather briefcase—just built from materials that can withstand a storm. Eric Twardzik, Robb Report, 6 July 2022 Look closer and the perfection of this car is just as shocking as the garish Aston. Brendan Mcaleer, Car and Driver, 3 July 2022 Even as giant residential towers sprang up around Jumbo, its garish neon sign and imperial-style architecture still dominated the skyline around Aberdeen Harbor, on the southwest side of Hong Kong Island. Mike Ives,, 21 June 2022 Rococo costumes are done up in garish colors; courtly gestures go hand in hand with libertinage. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 13 June 2022 To one side there is garish neon pink and on the other a pastel putty tint, even more muted than the millennial version. Max Berlinger, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 June 2022 Similarly, the scenic design by Randall Parsons is a clever arrangement of stars and stripes — as wood flooring, as subtle browns rather than as garish red, white and blue. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 6 June 2022 Even when live events came back, celebrities seemed reluctant to look too glamorous at the risk of sounding a garish note in the midst of a public health crisis. Rachel Tashjian, Harper's BAZAAR, 28 Mar. 2022 At times, white washes of garish daylight poured in from the wings, a reminder of realities kept at bay. Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of garish

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for garish

origin unknown

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Last Updated

10 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Garish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for garish


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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