hack·neyed | \ ˈhak-nēd \

Definition of hackneyed 

: lacking in freshness or originality hackneyed slogans

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Choose the Right Synonym for hackneyed

trite, hackneyed, stereotyped, threadbare mean lacking the freshness that evokes attention or interest. trite applies to a once effective phrase or idea spoiled from long familiarity. "you win some, you lose some" is a trite expression hackneyed stresses being worn out by overuse so as to become dull and meaningless. all of the metaphors and images in the poem are hackneyed stereotyped implies falling invariably into the same pattern or form. views of minorities that are stereotyped and out-of-date threadbare applies to what has been used until its possibilities of interest have been totally exhausted. a mystery novel with a threadbare plot

Does hackney Come From the Name of an English Town?

Hackney entered the English language in the 14th century as a noun. Some think perhaps it came from "Hakeneye" (now "Hackney"), the name of a town (now a borough) in England. Others dispute this explanation, pointing to similar forms in other European languages. The noun "hackney," in any case, refers to a horse suitable for ordinary riding or driving-as opposed to one used as a draft animal or a war charger. When "hackney" was first used as a verb in the late 16th century, it often meant "to make common or frequent use of." Later, it meant "to make trite, vulgar, or commonplace." The adjective "hackneyed" began to be used in the 18th century and now is a common synonym for "trite."

Examples of hackneyed in a Sentence

it's hackneyed, but true—the more you save the more you earn

Recent Examples on the Web

The battle metaphors are hackneyed, but the league has associated itself with the military in myriad ways, from accepting money for military flyovers to the pageantry of its national anthem. John Branch, New York Times, "Why the N.F.L. and the N.B.A. Are So Far Apart on Social Justice Stances," 22 June 2018 But while the novel plays ingeniously with its ancient source, its modern aspects are over-reliant on hackneyed stereotypes about white-bread suburbia. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: A Depraved and Beautiful Dream of the World," 12 July 2018 The Taylor trade netted Buffalo the first pick in the third round, 65th overall, with a value of 265 point on the Draft Trade Value Chart (hackneyed, but still a point of reference). Peter King, SI.com, "Negotiating With The Enemy: Inside the Richard Sherman-49ers Contract Talks," 12 Mar. 2018 For so much of the show’s running time, Ghost Nation have played the limited role demanded of them by the hackneyed internal narrative of the park’s stories. The Atlantic, "Westworld: Ghost Nation, Revealed," 10 June 2018 Yet Lauter brings fresh energy to what might otherwise be hackneyed territory. Sharon Mizota, latimes.com, "At Blum & Poe, bow down to the ecstatic painting of Mimi Lauter," 30 May 2018 The same credits sequence that replaced writer and performer names with in-jokes seemed lazier this time around; Wade Wilson’s exploding body sending a disembodied bird-flipping hand tumbling toward the camera felt hackneyed and a little tryhard. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "We Need to Talk About That Deadpool 2 Credits Scene," 21 May 2018 Timid and hackneyed followers come rushing in, assured of their safety from risk. Harper's BAZAAR, "Edna Mode From 'The Incredibles' Talks Fashion For the Season Ahead," 21 May 2018 Somewhere along the line, too, hackneyed tap got tangled in the popular imagination with stereotypes of homosexuality. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Ridiculous! Fabulous! On Broadway, Tapping in Quotation Marks," 15 May 2018

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

1735, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hackneyed

see hackney entry 1

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for hackneyed

The first known use of hackneyed was in 1735

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English Language Learners Definition of hackneyed

: not interesting, funny, etc., because of being used too often : not fresh or original

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