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

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 views of minorities that are stereotyped and out-of-date threadbare applies to what has been used until its possibilities of interest have been totally exhausted.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

Newsletter Sign-up Scheele is part of scientific folk-history, and while his hard-luck reputation may be hackneyed, at least it’s based on truth. Andrew Crumey, WSJ, "‘Mendeleyev’s Dream’ and ‘Elemental’ Review: Cracking the Chemical Code," 21 June 2019 RHS Class of 2019, carry with you that childhood spirit of dreaming big, and answer the hackneyed question with all of the possibilities. Steve Smith, courant.com, "Rockville Grads Urged To Reshape The Future," 14 June 2019 None of this is possible, and all of it is hackneyed. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "What HBO’s “Chernobyl” Got Right, and What It Got Terribly Wrong," 4 June 2019 This puts a premium on the start and end of the set, and two of the highlights are satires of a certain hackneyed genre of opening and closing jokes that poke fun at convention while also subverting it. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "A Netflix Experiment Gives Deserving Comics Their 15 Minutes," 2 July 2018 Despite the book’s hackneyed title, there is very little here about civility. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "Politics Books: Rootless, Isolated and Manipulated by Technology," 19 Oct. 2018 This descent into hell (played here by the Paris catacombs) is visually mesmerizing, which makes this movie worth your time even if the scares can be a bit inert and the drama a bit hackneyed. Dylan Scott, Vox, "13 found-footage horror movies actually worth watching this Halloween," 19 Oct. 2018 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

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

15 Jul 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on hackneyed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hackneyed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hackneyed

Spanish Central: Translation of hackneyed

Nglish: Translation of hackneyed for Spanish Speakers

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characterized by aphorism

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