\ 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

Inside there are more than 10,000 items from Coleman’s travels and investigations, lots of kitsch, as an entire case devoted to scat, and a section on hoaxes, which is there to encourage skepticism. Billy Baker,, "How Portland became the center of the unknown create world (like Bigfoot, Nessie, the Yeti, all that stuff)," 26 June 2019 The opalescent colors, tending toward apricot and a sort of Trumpian, fake-tan orange in his final years, feel incurably kitsch. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "More and more people loathe Renoir. Is it time for a revival?," 25 June 2019 Think: exaggerated ruffles, giant shoulders, feathers, kitsch, corsets, trompe l’oeil, gender-bending, and nostalgia to the nth degree. Emily Farra, Vogue, "How Will “Camp: Notes On Fashion” Change the Way We Dress?," 29 Apr. 2019 With echoes of Midcentury Modernism, Googie kitsch and eco-friendly futurism, selgascano proposes a vision more fantastically L.A. than Angelenos might dream for themselves. Mimi Zeiger,, "La Brea Tar Pits’ trippy new pavilion from Spain’s Selgascano could be L.A.’s next selfie magnet," 27 June 2019 Katie, who identifies as a lesbian, has worked for various magazines and companies, and for the past the three years she’s been styling and working to develop a personal kitsch aesthetic, which often includes heavily themed editorials. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "@DykeDigital Is the Instagram Account Producing High-Fashion Content for Lesbians," 14 June 2019 From BaubleBar to Oscar de la Renta, there’s a wide variety of playful heart earrings that feel just the right amount of kitsch. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Wear the ‘80s Trend Without Looking Too Extra," 20 May 2019 In the history of the Dodgers’ bobblehead nights going back to 2001, this kitsch Kelly edition will be No. Tom Hoffarth,, "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

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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Dictionary Entries near kitsch



kit out/up




Kittatinny Mountain

Statistics for kitsch

Last Updated

18 Jul 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



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

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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