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 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

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 This is kitsch basic at its best, because the meat needs to do the talking. Sorrel Moseley-williams, Condé Nast Traveler, "13 Best Steakhouses in Buenos Aires," 24 May 2018 In a moment when that the fashion world is smitten with the retro kitsch offered by the Balenciaga Triple S, the Nike Air Monarch, and their gaudy siblings, where do minimalist Vans fit in? John Vorwald, GQ, "How Vans Got Everyone Wearing Vans Again," 4 May 2018 But within easy access are breathtaking mountainscapes, desert kitsch and outstanding wildlife-viewing opportunities. New York Times, "Tucson Is a City That Encourages You to Explore," 28 Mar. 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.

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

Dictionary Entries near kitsch

kitol

kitool

kit out/up

kitsch

kitt

kittar

Kittatinny Mountain

Statistics for kitsch

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kitsch

The first known use of kitsch was in 1925

See more words from the same year

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!