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

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

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 Meanwhile, the left has glitter-gunned her into a kitsch icon. Sara Benincasa, Longreads, "Great Reviews Of Movies I Have Never Seen: A Reading List," 13 July 2018 Who knows how much longer this particular brand of kitsch can last, but this group of singers and musicians do a pretty solid job of nailing their impressions. Trevor Fraser, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Yacht Rock Revue sets sail for Orlando," 3 July 2018 Behind the kitsch and stereotypes of the parade, then, is a complicated history of cross-cultural migration. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "How some Sacramentans will celebrate Independence Day in a town 4,000 miles from U.S.," 1 July 2018 During Heidegger’s Nazi-extolling inaugural address in Freiburg, yellow stars of David rain down on the audience, and the Adolf Eichmann trial scene is a piece of kitsch worthy of Ken Russell. New York Times, "Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin Don’t Talk. They Sing.," 24 June 2018 Its rooms were corporate, its lobby dominated by Texas kitsch, and its food and beverage—a TGI Fridays until 2014—was woefully out of touch with the capital’s renowned dining scene. Stirling Kelso, Condé Nast Traveler, "Inside the New Line Austin Hotel," 4 June 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

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

Comments on kitsch

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