\ 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

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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 Esterly credits bar manager Jeremy Concepcion with curating a drink menu mirroring the food's island kitsch. Matt Wake |, al, "Downtown Huntsville’s most colorful joint yet, now open," 18 Mar. 2020 Damüls is popular with German and Dutch holidaymakers, who like its traditional wooden huts with kitsch interiors, though locals come here for the off-piste. Sam Haddad, 1843, "A mega resort on the horizon, a glacier on the brink," 26 Feb. 2020 Eschewing both bulk and kitsch, the pullover looks modern even now, as plausible on the concrete sidewalks of Manhattan as on the powdered slopes of Sundance. Todd Plummer, WSJ, "Revisit Robert Redford’s Retro Ski Style," 4 Feb. 2020 Unlike hearing Cher toy with the kitsch of electronic modernism until making it her mien, Dion simply sounds robotic and dull. A.d. Amorosi,, "Album Review: Celine Dion’s ‘Courage’," 15 Nov. 2019 Wochit An old Kroger gets new life south of Broad Ripple, but the fried chicken needs work Full of funky used furniture and irresistible kitsch, Big Al’s Superstore was hard to pass without planning to pop in one day. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Former Big Al's Superstore turned into fried chicken restaurant by 'Top Chef' contestants," 29 Jan. 2020 The show begins with Paula acting as choreographer from the audience, instructing her talented troupe of dancers in a kitsch and schtick routine. Melinda Sheckells, Billboard, "Paula Abdul's 'Forever Your Girl' Residency Recounts Her Career Highs and Lows," 25 Oct. 2019 There’s something to what Mr. Barmé says about the kitsch in Beidaihe. New York Times, "At Mao’s Beach, China’s Leaders Still Make History as Lifeguards Hide From the Sun," 22 Aug. 2019 There’s something to what Barmé says about the kitsch in Beidaihe. Jane Perlez,, "At Mao’s beach, China’s leaders still make history as lifeguards hide from the sun," 22 Aug. 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


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Time Traveler for kitsch

Time Traveler

The first known use of kitsch was in 1925

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Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kitsch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for kitsch


How to pronounce kitsch (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kitsch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kitsch

Nglish: Translation of kitsch for Spanish Speakers

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