tacky

1 of 2

adjective (1)

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

tacky

2 of 2

adjective (2)

tackier; tackiest
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
2
a
: characterized by lack of good breeding
couldn't run around downtown … in a bikini, which was tackyCyra McFadden
b
: shabby, seedy
a tacky town whose citrus groves were blighted by smokeBryce Nelson

Examples of tacky in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The palm coating is also textured for a better grip, and the nitrile is tacky enough to pick up individual screws. Rachel Ahrnsen, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Apr. 2024 That morning, Nathan had prepared the dough for still more, a dome with a tacky surface now rising in a large bowl. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 8 Apr. 2024 For the handle, squeeze a drop of tacky glue onto each end of a 1-inch length of pipe cleaner and adhere it to one side of the box. Kimberly Stoney, Parents, 21 Mar. 2024 Other films with tacky, tawdry titles that begged for straight-to-video release include: Liquid Dreams (1991), The Crazysitter (1994), A Dirty Shame (2004), Sunny & Share Love You (2007), and Becoming Blond (2012). Daniel Scheffler, SPIN, 1 Apr. 2024 Whether this is inescapably tacky or incredibly cool is, essentially, irrelevant. Tim Barber, WIRED, 26 Mar. 2024 Some potential clients saw fake flowers as tacky, or worried that the installations would be vandalized. Priya Krishna, New York Times, 25 Mar. 2024 Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself, Hefner’s widow said that first crossed the threshold as a 21-year-old aspiring model and psychology major, the mansion was rundown, and a little tacky. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 10 Mar. 2024 As girlfriend to the future king, the tabloids hoped to catch her in a misstep or tacky moment. Hillary Kelly, The Atlantic, 14 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tacky.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective (1)

tack entry 2

Adjective (2)

tacky a low-class person

First Known Use

Adjective (1)

1788, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of tacky was in 1788

Dictionary Entries Near tacky

Cite this Entry

“Tacky.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tacky. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

tacky

1 of 2 adjective
tackier; tackiest
: somewhat sticky to the touch
tacky varnish

tacky

2 of 2 adjective
tackier; tackiest
1
2
: marked by lack of style or good taste
a tacky outfit

More from Merriam-Webster on tacky

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