knick·​knack | \ ˈnik-ˌnak How to pronounce knickknack (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
plural knickknacks also nicknacks

Definition of knickknack

: a small trivial article usually intended for ornament a collection of colorful knickknacks Known in the computer industry as tchotchkes, which is Yiddish for cheap trinkets, the knickknacks distributed in the past year have included "Love Me Tender" toilet-roll dispensers, wax eyeballs, chocolate computers and Nerf-ball launchers.— Jim Carlton Melissa Etheridge's spacious two-story home outside Los Angeles is filled with knickknacks from her life: Aside from awards and photos, there is a small collection of vintage neon clocks … and a Thelma & Louise poster signed by the cast (including a then-unknown Brad Pitt).— Lynette Rice

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Examples of knickknack in a Sentence

The shelves were filled with knickknacks. a variety of pretty porcelain knickknacks adorned the mantel
Recent Examples on the Web Every nook and cranny was filled with something — papers, mugs, old photographs, knickknacks, furniture. Washington Post, "Inheriting the fine china? Many younger folks say no thanks," 15 Jan. 2020 New and like-new items will be for sale, including costume jewelry, stocking stuffers, Christmas items, serving dishes in time for holiday parties, knickknacks, books, wall hangings and more., "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 8 Nov. 2019 The nearby shops sell everything from Spanish pastries to jamón to knickknacks and, of course, plenty of wine. Laura Jung, Harper's BAZAAR, "72 Hours in Spanish Wine Country," 18 Dec. 2019 In a glass case, one may peer at her tools: old rubber stamps, phrenological busts, and metal knickknacks, as if examining the spoils of an archaeological dig. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "MOMA’s Heady Introduction to Betye Saar, “The Conscience of the Art World”," 24 Oct. 2019 The museum hosts market days throughout the year where visitors can buy merchandise, food and knickknacks from local businesses on Saturdays. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Wunderlich Farm continues to be an educational landmark for Klein history," 2 Dec. 2019 Her knickknacks are confined to a small tin at the center of her coffee table that houses eye drops, a flashlight, a bottle of Advil and an amethyst crystal. Amy Kaufman,, "Linda Ronstadt on the sound of her life and a new movie all about it," 6 Sep. 2019 Along a bustling four-lane highway that winds through the north Georgia mountains, an unassuming wooden structure breaks the monotony of churches, billboards and stores selling kitschy knickknacks. Paul Newberry, USA TODAY, "Explore Georgia's roadside Bigfoot museum, devoted to the search for Sasquatch," 21 Oct. 2019 The house is full of family photos interspersed with knickknacks salvaged from thrift stores and estate sales: a silver Buddha, book stands, a Confucius lamp sculpted from green-hued glass. Travis Deshong, Washington Post, "For D.C. pop band Shaed, the rock-and-roll dream is all about family," 17 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'knickknack.' 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 knickknack

1682, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for knickknack

reduplication of knack

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Time Traveler for knickknack

Time Traveler

The first known use of knickknack was in 1682

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Statistics for knickknack

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Knickknack.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for knickknack


How to pronounce knickknack (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of knickknack

: a small object used for decoration


knick·​knack | \ ˈnik-ˌnak \

Kids Definition of knickknack

: a small ornamental object

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More from Merriam-Webster on knickknack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for knickknack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with knickknack

Spanish Central: Translation of knickknack

Nglish: Translation of knickknack for Spanish Speakers

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