kitsch

noun
\ˈkich \

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

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Other Words from kitsch

kitschy \ˈki-​chē \ adjective

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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

In summer, Banff’s legendary tourist traffic and plaid Canadiana kitsch can easily take your focus off the roiling Bow River and the surrounding snowy mountains. Daniel Otis, Sunset, "Awe-Inspiring Canadian Rockies Camping Adventure," 22 Jan. 2018 Las Vegas is no stranger to European influence, but its replicas of the Trevi Fountain, Eiffel Tower, and Rialto Bridge are more caricature than truth, more kitsch than Old World splendor. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "There's a Newcomer to The Strip: the NoMad Las Vegas," 12 Oct. 2018 But this season, designer Miuccia Prada took things to a new level of disruptive kitsch. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This Rising Model Just Chopped Off All Her Hair to Look Like a Bad Girl Movie Heroine," 2 Oct. 2018 There were titles related to kitsch, public parks, inequality, water, indigenous cultures, nuns as artists, technology and visionary art. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A library and an unexpected journey toward household togetherness," 28 June 2018 Composer Christopher Willis scores the daylights out of this assignment, writing robust, borderline-kitsch marches and soul-stirring orchestral wallops for a sly blend of irony and sincerity. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Death of Stalin' review: 'Veep' creator's black comedy sings the Red blues," 15 Mar. 2018 At times, the clothes did look Olympic opening ceremony kitsch, but that may have been part of the intent. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Li-Ning Is the Chinese Sportswear Brand You Need To Know," 21 June 2018 And Amsterdam-based, internet sensation Scotch & Soda (think a Dutch Urban Outfitters, sans kitsch) is rolling into Michael Kors’ old spot. Elizabeth Wellington, Philly.com, "As our definition of luxury shifts, Walnut Street evolves with it | Elizabeth Wellington," 10 July 2018 The Cold War is over and the loser’s artifacts are now pop kitsch. Jonathan Bradley, Billboard, "Dream Up the World You're Gonna Live In: How U2's 'Zooropa' Got the Future Wrong, 25 Years Later," 5 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of kitsch

1925, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kitsch

German

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Dictionary Entries near kitsch

kitol

kitool

kit out/up

kitsch

kitt

kittar

Kittatinny Mountain

Statistics for kitsch

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for kitsch

The first known use of kitsch was in 1925

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kitsch

Nglish: Translation of kitsch for Spanish Speakers

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