hackneyed

adjective
hack·​neyed | \ ˈhak-nēd How to pronounce hackneyed (audio) \

Definition of hackneyed

: lacking in freshness or originality hackneyed slogans

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 views of minorities that are stereotyped and out-of-date threadbare applies to what has been used until its possibilities of interest have been totally exhausted.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 New spectacles worth fictionalizing will arise, but when the current wave crests, could giving those stories the glossy TV treatment come to feel like a hackneyed way to address serious matters? Matthew Jacobs, Town & Country, 22 Apr. 2022 However, George Harrison loses points for taking James Ray’s original 1960s rock song and turning it into something a bit hackneyed. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 13 May 2021 Needell’s hackneyed dialogue further unmask the movie’s lack of visual wonder and narrative cohesiveness. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2021 The obligatory voiceovers before each episode can get annoying, and the dialogue is a bit hackneyed in places. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 19 May 2020 The hackneyed script has the effect of lending an unmerited nobility to the politicians and bureaucrats onscreen. David Klion, The New Republic, 12 Dec. 2019 There’s nothing hackneyed or rote about his delirious odes to mental illness for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 3 Apr. 2020 The ensemble, many of whom have extensive sketch comedy credentials, try their hardest but are similarly unable to overcome the hackneyed material. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Apr. 2020 The symbol has become its own form of trendiness-signaling, much like jettisoning all the vowels from one’s brand name or refusing to engage in that hackneyed ritual known as capitalization. Katy Steinmetz, Time, 27 Feb. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of hackneyed

1735, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hackneyed

from past participle of hackney entry 3

Learn More About hackneyed

Time Traveler for hackneyed

Time Traveler

The first known use of hackneyed was in 1735

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About hackneyed

Dictionary Entries Near hackneyed

hackney coach

hackneyed

hackneyman

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hackneyed

Last Updated

2 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hackneyed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hackneyed. Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on hackneyed

Nglish: Translation of hackneyed for Spanish Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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