kitsch

noun
\ ˈkich How to pronounce kitsch (audio) \

Definition of kitsch

1 : something that appeals to popular or lowbrow taste and is often of poor quality
2 : a tacky or lowbrow quality or condition teetering on the brink of kitsch— Ron Miller

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from kitsch

kitschy \ ˈki-​chē How to pronounce kitsch (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

The fashionable clothing label ... kicked off the revival last June..., putting its models in Miranda-inspired swimsuits and marching them through a gantlet of 50 tons of bananas, writes Mac Margolis in Newsweek International (January 2006) of a fabulously kitschy gala commemoration for the late Brazilian singer and actress Carmen Miranda. Since we borrowed kitsch from German in the 1920s, it has been our word for things in the realm of popular culture that dangle, like car mirror dice, precariously close to tackiness. But although things that can be described with kitsch and the related adjective kitschy are clearly not fine art, they may appeal to certain tastes-some folks delight in velvet paintings, plastic flamingos, dashboard hula dancers, and Carmen Miranda revivals!

Examples of kitsch in a Sentence

The restaurant is decorated with 1950s furniture and kitsch from old TV shows.
Recent Examples on the Web Crowe’s mess of incongruous pop imagery makes Show Them the Way the ultimate in Hollywood liberal political kitsch, although triggered by Nicks’s uneasy lyrical musings at her Hamptons abode. Armond White, National Review, "Stevie Nicks, Like Springsteen, Preaches and Preens," 28 Oct. 2020 For all its witch kitsch, Salem is one of the few places that has properly recognized its history. Joseph Prezioso, National Geographic, "Witch hunt tourism is lucrative. It also obscures a tragic history," 23 Oct. 2020 Double Wide and Single Wide, who restored much of the old service station’s character, then added some extra kitsch. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "8 new restaurants in North Texas: hot chicken, fried chicken, halal and more," 22 Sep. 2020 Then a former boss offered her a spot at a new restaurant - the White Limozeen, named in tribute to a Dolly Parton song and decorated in over-the-top kitsch. Russ Bynum, Star Tribune, "Rent's due, again: Monthly anxieties deepen as aid falls off," 31 July 2020 Critics may consider the monument kitsch, but many people love it. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Trump’s Mount Rushmore visit renews spotlight on anachronistic, politically incorrect and quintessentially American monument," 3 July 2020 But for all his bullishness, some critics say that Cirque’s problems predate the pandemic and that its groundbreaking artistry has given way to facile story lines and kitsch spectacle, like acrobats in frog costumes. Dan Bilefsky, New York Times, "Will Cirque du Soleil Rise Again?," 17 May 2020 As for Cash’s violation, his fantastical injection of Soviet kitsch is brightly evident. Angelica Lavito, Bloomberg.com, "Mass Job Cuts Across U.S. Threaten to Leave Millions Without Health Insurance," 10 May 2020 This is pristine pop, delivered with kitsch and kick. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "NCT 127 takes the K-pop party beyond RodeoHouston," 10 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kitsch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of kitsch

1925, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kitsch

German

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kitsch

Listen to Our Podcast about kitsch

Statistics for kitsch

Cite this Entry

“Kitsch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kitsch. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kitsch

kitsch

noun

English Language Learners Definition of kitsch

: things (such as movies or works of art) that are of low quality and that many people find amusing and enjoyable

More from Merriam-Webster on kitsch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kitsch

Nglish: Translation of kitsch for Spanish Speakers

Comments on kitsch

What made you want to look up kitsch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!