gau·​dy | \ ˈgȯ-dē How to pronounce gaudy (audio) , ˈgä- \
gaudier; gaudiest

Definition of gaudy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : ostentatiously or tastelessly ornamented gaudy costumes
2 : marked by extravagance or sometimes tasteless showiness : outlandish gaudy lies gaudy claims also : exceptional a gaudy batting average


plural gaudies

Definition of gaudy (Entry 2 of 2)

: a feast or entertainment especially in the form of an annual college dinner at a British university

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Other Words from gaudy


gaudily \ ˈgȯ-​də-​lē How to pronounce gaudily (audio) , ˈgä-​ \ adverb
gaudiness \ ˈgȯ-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce gaudiness (audio) , ˈgä-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for gaudy


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 gaudy in a Sentence

Adjective The showgirls wore gaudy costumes. They bought the house for a gaudy sum.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective So maybe this will explain it best: With that gaudy 28-2 home record, Philadelphia has established a pace that would secure a place for the 76ers on the list of the top 20 home teams in N.B.A. history. Marc Stein, New York Times, "All In on the Milwaukee Bucks, Still," 4 Mar. 2020 These earrings in particular are praised for being lightweight with just the right amount of bling without looking gaudy. USA TODAY, "20 gift ideas your girlfriend will actually love," 22 Oct. 2019 High school basketball fans in Kentucky always are skeptical of an eastern Kentucky squad with a gaudy record, but the Tomcats have solid victories over George Rogers Clark, Warren Central, Butler, Trinity and Mason County. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "'The whole town just loves this team': Undefeated Tomcats bringing pride back to Ashland," 21 Feb. 2020 One particularly psychedelic channel features a 3-D cat in a Russian hat advertising free in-game money, against a background of gaudy Russian text and a scrolling chat box. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "YouTube Gaming's Most-Watched Videos Are Dominated by Scams and Cheats," 18 Feb. 2020 The gaudy casino — the world’s largest — opened its doors two years later, bedecked with bright-colored onion domes and laden with debt. New York Times, "The Money Behind Trump’s Money," 4 Feb. 2020 Not even early tenant Kroger would dare apply gaudy colors that might spoil the facade. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Former Big Al's Superstore turned into fried chicken restaurant by 'Top Chef' contestants," 29 Jan. 2020 But here’s the most important bit: Despite the gaudy IBO rating, the MX-15′s draw cycle is surprisingly manageable. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Best New Bowhunting Gear from the 2020 Archery Trade Show," 10 Jan. 2020 More coverage: Ryan McMahon is 'all-in' for Louisville, as a starter or off the bench Williams may not have had the gaudy numbers his freshman teammate posted, but no one else did. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Freshman phenom David Johnson leads Louisville basketball to massive win at Duke," 19 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But with Siemian going mostly against second-team players and Sloter mostly against third-team guys, the latter’s gaudy stats apparently didn’t impress Zimmer a lot. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Inconsistency by Kyle Sloter could factor in Sean Mannion being Vikings’ backup QB," 27 July 2019 Cultural theorist Susan Sontag viewed camp as an indescribable ephemera that often involved the gaudy, the glitzy, and the unexpected. Vogue, "This Summer, Go Full Mermaid With a Campy Seashell Motif," 29 Apr. 2019 The place—decked out in swaths of gold, red, and purple—is a little gaudy, but that's how the locals like it. Janice Leung Hayes, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Best Dim Sum Spots in Hong Kong," 5 Mar. 2018 During the joint press conference with Raúl Castro, there wasn’t a gaudy row of 12 overlapping American and Cuban flags as a backdrop, as there was at the greeting with Kim at the Capella Hotel. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "The Trump-Rubio politics of hypocrisy: Cuba, no deal. North Korea? ‘Has great beaches.’," 12 June 2018 By all accounts, the concert itself was a gaudy, elaborate affair, with venue owner Bill Graham orchestrating a gargantuan white-tie Thanksgiving dinner for 5,000 attendees, while actual ballroom dancers waltzed throughout. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "'The Last Waltz' Soundtrack 40th Anniversary: 5 Noteworthy Performances From the Concert," 7 Apr. 2018 The elegant granite structure, whose architectural character Trump had promised to preserve, was now besmirched by a gaudy, faux-gold sign bearing his name. Nick Tabor, Daily Intelligencer, "501 Days in Swampland," 1 Apr. 2018 As a rookie, Matsuzaka went 15-12 with 201 strikeouts but a gaudy 4.40 ERA (108 ERA+), still good for 4.1 WAR. Jay Jaffe,, "Ranking the Best Rookie Seasons Among Japanese Players to Join MLB," 9 Dec. 2017 Kyrie Irving dropped 30 to lead the Celtics, and some of his play down the stretch was gaudy as well. Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "Celtics on Bogdanovic's gaffe: 'Lucky for us, he didn't want any part of the ball'," 18 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gaudy.' 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 gaudy


1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1651, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gaudy


gaud + -y entry 1


probably from Latin gaudium joy — more at joy

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Time Traveler for gaudy

Time Traveler

The first known use of gaudy was in 1582

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Statistics for gaudy

Last Updated

26 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gaudy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for gaudy


How to pronounce gaudy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gaudy

: too bright and heavily decorated
informal : very large or impressive


\ ˈgȯ-dē How to pronounce gaudy (audio) \
gaudier; gaudiest

Kids Definition of gaudy

: too bright and showy gaudy jewelry

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More from Merriam-Webster on gaudy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gaudy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gaudy

Spanish Central: Translation of gaudy

Nglish: Translation of gaudy for Spanish Speakers

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