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

Other Words from gaudy


gaudily \ ˈgȯ-​də-​lē How to pronounce gaudy (audio) , ˈgä-​ \ adverb
gaudiness \ ˈgȯ-​dē-​nəs How to pronounce gaudy (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 The staging may occasionally bring back flashbacks of the Valentine’s Day aisle of your local pharmacy, but the gaudy rakishness seems right at home at the Pantages. Los Angeles Times, 8 July 2022 For the second straight year, Bobcats sophomore Julia Allen broke the century mark for goals scored for the Boca Raton girls water polo team, while fellow sophomore Max Zelikov also turned in some gaudy numbers. Gary Curreri, Sun Sentinel, 18 June 2022 Smith’s numbers and accolades, to be clear, are gaudy, and deserving of consideration. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 June 2022 However, his gaudy statistics could be questioned given the competition. oregonlive, 27 May 2022 Friday’s futility was a gaudy contrast to Paul’s previous brilliance, perhaps as easy to read as orange numbers on a purple jersey? Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 6 May 2022 Some of the students were mesmerized by his gaudy clothes and fancy car. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Apr. 2022 Still, QBs had a gaudy passer rating (118) when targeting him, an indication question marks remain. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Mar. 2022 From the outside, the Bentayga Mulliner Space Edition doesn't have any gaudy graphics or overt references to a galaxy far, far away. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 20 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hernández has posted a gaudy .383/.403/.624 line with seven homers in his last 36 contests, cutting his strikeout rate to 13.3 percent. Globe Staff,, 7 July 2022 Season 1 took place on Deborah’s home turf — largely in her gaudy mansion, in fact, which Ava snidely compared to the Cheesecake Factory. Washington Post, 11 May 2022 Doncic has been putting up preposterous numbers, even by his gaudy standards. New York Times, 5 May 2022 Those gaudy figures came largely in the form of stock options, which means the take-home pay could shrink if the market takes a nosedive, but both men are still among the most richly remunerated in this or any industry. Brent Lang, Variety, 30 Apr. 2022 Sure, some may find all the LEDs gaudy, and others will get bored with them after a few days. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 4 Mar. 2022 So the place has both a gaudy past and an unusual present. Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Feb. 2022 Brown also wore his gaudy Super Bowl ring and held it up when he was shown on the video scoreboard. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, 14 Feb. 2022 This case, to me, did feel like a gamble, even by Las Vegas’ gaudy standards. Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About gaudy

Dictionary Entries Near gaudy



Gaudy Dutch

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for gaudy

Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gaudy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for gaudy


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

Kids Definition of gaudy

: too bright and showy gaudy jewelry

More from Merriam-Webster on gaudy

Nglish: Translation of gaudy for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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