\ ˈta-kē How to pronounce tacky (audio) \
tackier; tackiest

Definition of tacky

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: somewhat sticky to the touch tacky varnish also : characterized by tack : adhesive
tackier; tackiest

Definition of tacky (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : not having or exhibiting good taste: such as
a : marked by cheap showiness : gaudy a tacky publicity stunt a tacky outfit
b : marked by lack of style : dowdy
2a : characterized by lack of good breeding couldn't run around downtown … in a bikini, which was tacky— Cyra McFadden
b : shabby, seedy a tacky town whose citrus groves were blighted by smoke— Bryce Nelson

Synonyms & Antonyms for tacky

Synonyms: Adjective (1)

Synonyms: Adjective (2)

Antonyms: Adjective (1)

Antonyms: Adjective (2)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

First Known Use of tacky

Adjective (1)

1788, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for tacky

Adjective (1)

tack entry 2

Adjective (2)

tacky a low-class person

Learn More About tacky

Dictionary Entries Near tacky

tack weld

tacky

tacky party

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tacky

Cite this Entry

“Tacky.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tacky. Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on tacky

Nglish: Translation of tacky for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tacky for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!