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 views of minorities that are stereotyped and out-of-date threadbare applies to what has been used until its possibilities of interest have been totally exhausted.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 The obligatory voiceovers before each episode can get annoying, and the dialogue is a bit hackneyed in places. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Snowpiercer starts slow and builds to intense cliffhanger finale," 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, "The Heavy Burden of The Report," 12 Dec. 2019 There’s nothing hackneyed or rote about his delirious odes to mental illness for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Adam Schlesinger’s Deceptively Chipper American Dream," 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, "'Lazy Susan': Film Review," 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, "From Disney+ to PB+J, How the Plus Sign Took Over the World," 27 Feb. 2020 The choreography by Jeff and Rick Kuperman is mostly performed as a sort of incidental sideshow, with hackneyed slow-mo effects that presumably are meant to suggest how love transforms time. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Peter Dinklage Tackles ‘Cyrano’ Without the Nose," 7 Nov. 2019 Every time the game's dialogue turns hackneyed, that stands out in an otherwise fine-if-rote Star Wars adventure. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Jedi: Fallen Order game review: More like, the Force goes back to sleep," 14 Nov. 2019 There are those who find the concept of celebrating milestones to be hackneyed, trite. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Ravinia to celebrate Itzhak Perlman, Beethoven and 19th Amendment," 12 Nov. 2019

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

from past participle of hackney entry 3

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The first known use of hackneyed was in 1735

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Cite this Entry

“Hackneyed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hackneyed. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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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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