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

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Other Words from kitsch

kitschy \ ˈki-​chē How to pronounce kitschy (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

In the history of the Dodgers’ bobblehead nights going back to 2001, this kitsch Kelly edition will be No. Tom Hoffarth, latimes.com, "Morning Briefing: Perfect timing for Joe Kelly bobblehead night," 13 June 2019 The result is a series of colorful and graphic button-down shirts, inspired by her love of tropical plants, sea life, and all things kitsch. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Rosie LaJaguara Is the Artist Making “Shirt Poetry”," 6 June 2019 Ever since taking the helm of the Italian label in 2015, Michele has brought a new spirit into the house, one that is always heavy on extravagant whimsy and kitsch—the entire vibe of Met night, basically. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Alessandro Michele Brought His Gucci Gang to the Met Gala," 7 May 2019 Tapping jeweler Ben Baller for a creation all her own, Crawley set out to pay homage to Vuitton while staying true to her own brand of subversive kitsch. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The Story Behind Kristen Noel Crawley's Custom Louis Vuitton Grills," 13 May 2019 These efforts could prompt the art world to reassess the legacy of someone whose work was dismissed as kitsch during his lifetime. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "A Renaissance for Bob Ross: Fans Want the ‘Joy of Painting’ Host to Have a Spot in Art History," 21 Aug. 2018 The combination of Versace and Ralph Lauren pieces struck just the right note: tasteful tailoring with a touch of kitsch. Vogue, "Selena Gomez Pulls an Anti-Festival Fashion Moment at Coachella," 14 Apr. 2019 Seoul is a beauty lover’s Shangri-La — a paradise where cutting-edge skin care and cosmetic kitsch live in harmony. Jenny Bailly, Allure, "What I Learned About the State of K-Beauty in 2019 by Going Straight to the Source," 21 Mar. 2019 The brand that’s melded glamour and kitsch, from furry loafers to to fake heads on the runway is right up Del Rey’s alley, and a perfect match for her eclectic, retro-tinged style. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lana Del Rey Is Drinking Wheat Grass, Taking Spin Classes, Being Extra, and Loving It," 7 Feb. 2019

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

20 Jun 2019

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on kitsch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kitsch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kitsch

Nglish: Translation of kitsch for Spanish Speakers

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