Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective garish contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of garish are flashy, gaudy, meretricious, and tawdry. While all these words mean "vulgarly or cheaply showy," garish describes what is distressingly or offensively bright.

garish neon signs

When might flashy be a better fit than garish?

While the synonyms flashy and garish are close in meaning, flashy implies an effect of brilliance quickly and easily seen to be shallow or vulgar.

a flashy nightclub act

Where would gaudy be a reasonable alternative to garish?

The meanings of gaudy and garish largely overlap; however, gaudy implies a tasteless use of overly bright, often clashing colors or excessive ornamentation.

circus performers in gaudy costumes

When can meretricious be used instead of garish?

Although the words meretricious and garish have much in common, meretricious stresses falsity and may describe a tawdry show that beckons with a false allure or promise.

a meretricious wasteland of casinos and bars

When could tawdry be used to replace garish?

While in some cases nearly identical to garish, tawdry applies to what is at once gaudy and cheap and sleazy.

tawdry saloons

Thesaurus Entries Near garish

Cite this Entry

“Garish.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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