Definition of trumpery
- a wagon loaded with household trumpery
- —Washington Irving
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
claims for weight-loss products that are based much more on Madison-Avenue trumpery than on bariatric science
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.
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trumpery
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