Definition of trumpery
1a : worthless nonsenseb : trivial or useless articles : junk a wagon loaded with household trumpery — Washington Irving
2 archaic : tawdry finery
trumpery was our Word of the Day on 11/21/2013. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of trumpery in a Sentence
claims for weight-loss products that are based much more on Madison-Avenue trumpery than on bariatric science
Did You Know?
Trumpery derives from the Middle English trompery and ultimately from the Middle French tromper, meaning "to deceive." (You can see the meaning of this root reflected in the French phrase trompe-l'oeil-literally, "deceives the eye"-which in English refers to a style of painting with photographically realistic detail.) Trumpery first appeared in English in the mid-15th century with the meanings "deceit or fraud" (a sense that is now obsolete) and "worthless nonsense." Less than 100 years later, it was being applied to material objects of little or no value. The verb phrase trump up means "to concoct with the intent to deceive," but there is most likely no etymological connection between this phrase and trumpery.
Origin and Etymology of trumpery
Middle English (Scots) trompery deceit, from Middle French, from tromper to deceive
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Learn More about trumpery
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trumpery
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up trumpery? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).