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 The Gateway district was old and stained: garish bars, flophouses, liquor stores. James Lileks, Star Tribune, "In 1957, city leaders thought Minneapolis would be a futuristic city by 1967," 23 Apr. 2021 In the day of bell bottoms and sideburns, chrome was king, and even judges at the most respected concours rarely distinguished between correct and over-restored cars that dripped in chrome and wore garish, inappropriate colors. Robert Ross, Robb Report, "Car of the Week: Why This Unrestored 1955 Ferrari Could Fetch a Bonkers $2.6 Million at Auction," 26 Apr. 2021 The garish green of pistachio gelato, for example, or the shocking pink of berry flavors are a sign of non-natural ingredients. Rebecca Ann Hughes, Forbes, "The Ice Cream Con: Italy Cracks Down On Air-Pumped Gelato," 19 Apr. 2021 While many garnishes are edible, the lasting use and allure of paper umbrellas and pineapple fronds, among other, more garish, favors, confirm that being fit for human consumption is not always a garnish prerequisite. Rebekah Peppler, Los Angeles Times, "How to garnish a cocktail? Here’s your guide to the basics — with a twist," 2 Apr. 2021 There must be garish luxury juxtaposed with base behavior. Anna Peele, Vulture, "The Soul of Bravo," 14 Apr. 2021 The mural’s palette, though muted, evokes the W.P.A. murals of the nineteen-thirties as well as the slightly more garish aesthetic of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Bruce Handy, The New Yorker, "Can Kid Art Be Real Art?," 14 Dec. 2020 This raises concerns of an overabundance of visual blot and our world becoming garish. Lance Eliot, Forbes, "Self-Driving Cars Aiming To Change Our Most Favorite Of Car Colors," 20 Mar. 2021 There is a subtlety to even the most garish plastic, a kind of discretion, because all plastics decline to speak of their origins. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Plastic’s Broken Promise," 16 Dec. 2020

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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Garish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for garish

Nglish: Translation of garish for Spanish Speakers

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