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

Accessories, which ran the gamut from sequin palette skinny scarves to frilly socks layered underneath high-top sneakers and patent leather Mary Jane heels, added that extra zing of haute-kitsch. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Prada Serves Up the Secret to Pulling Off Neon Bright Eye Makeup With Ease," 3 May 2019 Olivia Goldhill Olivia Goldhill The president’s son wasn’t in his office when Quartz visited, but two assistants were there to show off Eduardo Bolsonaro’s collection of kitsch. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "Brazil’s nominated US ambassador spends his days with a gun-toting Trump figurine," 13 July 2019 But in Bella Hadid's world, the call for kitsch offered an opportunity for strategic subtraction rather than infinite addition. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Bella Hadid Reveals a Radical New Pixie Cut at the Met Gala," 7 May 2019 His collections reflect those qualities, most often via a riot of color and pattern, along with a healthy dose of kitsch. Matt Sebra, GQ, "H&M x Moschino Is the Retailer's Next Big Designer Collaboration," 16 Apr. 2018 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, BostonGlobe.com, "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, latimes.com, "La Brea Tar Pits’ trippy new pavilion from Spain’s Selgascano could be L.A.’s next selfie magnet," 27 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

German

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Dictionary Entries near kitsch

kitol

kitool

kit out/up

kitsch

kitt

kittar

Kittatinny Mountain

Statistics for kitsch

Last Updated

15 Aug 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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