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 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 Underneath Doncic’s gaudy career-high 46 points and Porzingis’ 36 against the Pelicans, there’s more evidence of increasing consistency and rhythm. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "Luka Doncic, Mavs’ offense are finally sizzling as litmus test vs. Portland looms," 13 Feb. 2021 There are no fancy maps or gaudy graphics, just basic information about where to get a shot. Globe Staff,, "This Massachusetts software developer is building a better website to find vaccination slots than the state," 5 Feb. 2021 But that domination made for all-too-easy conclusion of G2′s greatness, without a closer questioning of why the team was rolling up such a gaudy record. Washington Post, "G2 were the kings of ‘Valorant’ in Europe. What happened?," 28 Dec. 2020 Much of the season, Curry has been the consummate leader, putting up gaudy numbers despite double-teams and saying the right things after losses. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors waste another Steph Curry gem in loss to Spurs," 8 Feb. 2021 Typically, this spot is reserved for an athlete whose play was exemplary, full of gaudy stats that jump off a page. Star Tribune, "Prep athletes of the week: Senior rink rat helps Cambridge-Isanti reclaim 'Rusty Skates' trophy," 25 Jan. 2021 Lin had heard from his agent that NBA teams weren’t impressed by gaudy stats against inferior competition in the CBA. Connor Letourneau,, "Why Jeremy Lin turned down millions in China to play for Warriors’ G League team," 15 Jan. 2021 In a role created for the show (Will wasn’t originally present in Bridgerton’s source material—the romance novel series by Julia Quinn), Imhangbe brings a grounded, gritty contrast to the adaptation’s gaudy, lavish atmosphere. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Don’t Rule Out Martins Imhangbe as a James Bond Contender," 13 Jan. 2021 Cooper wasn’t the only receiver with some gaudy numbers in this one. David Moore, Dallas News, "Cowboys WR Amari Cooper sets new career-high in win over Eagles," 27 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Get smaller and bigger at the same time, by giving space and attention to the odd, the experimental and the handmade as well as the gaudy and the grand. New York Times, "The Oscars Are a Mess. Let’s Make Them Messier.," 27 Jan. 2021 While Wonder Woman has lately been commanding media attention with her gaudy, sentimental take on the power of positive thinking, Zorro commits to social action without losing his nimble sense of humor. Washington Post, "Zorro at 100: Why the original swashbuckler is still the quintessential American action hero," 1 Jan. 2021 With its gaudy displays, rampant excess, celebratory spirit and high price tag, Christmas is a thoroughly American holiday. Steve Chapman,, "Column: How America shaped Christmas, and how Christmas shapes us," 23 Dec. 2020 Since taking over for Carson Wentz in Week 13, the rookie has excelled for Philadelphia -- particularly in fantasy with his gaudy rushing totals to go along with solid passing numbers. Tony Holm, USA TODAY, "Fantasy football sizzlers, fizzlers: Jalen Hurts provides timely late-season boost," 21 Dec. 2020 Buy it to explore a gaudy, retro-futuristic theme park. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Cyberpunk 2077 is equal parts beautiful and messy," 7 Dec. 2020 Doubtless not a few of them harbor a special disdain for American Evangelicalism, with its gaudy, prosperous instrumentalism. James Wood, The New Yorker, "Does Knowing God Just Take Practice?," 2 Nov. 2020 Rivers' numbers Sunday -- 17-of-21 for 217 yards, a touchdown -- were far from gaudy, but make no mistake, Reich said, Rivers was superb. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Why Philip Rivers makes NFL history and none of his Colts' teammates know it," 28 Sep. 2020 At just under three inches tall and eight inches wide, this elegant pop of shine adds a bit of glam to living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms without looking gaudy. Marissa Miller, USA TODAY, "15 home decor products under $20 that will revamp your space," 31 Aug. 2020

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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Statistics for gaudy

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gaudy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for gaudy



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

More from Merriam-Webster on gaudy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gaudy

Nglish: Translation of gaudy for Spanish Speakers

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