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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective tawdry contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of tawdry are flashy, garish, gaudy, and meretricious. While all these words mean "vulgarly or cheaply showy," tawdry applies to what is at once gaudy and cheap and sleazy.

tawdry saloons

When is flashy a more appropriate choice than tawdry?

In some situations, the words flashy and tawdry are roughly equivalent. However, flashy implies an effect of brilliance quickly and easily seen to be shallow or vulgar.

a flashy nightclub act

In what contexts can garish take the place of tawdry?

The meanings of garish and tawdry largely overlap; however, garish describes what is distressingly or offensively bright.

garish neon signs

When is it sensible to use gaudy instead of tawdry?

While in some cases nearly identical to tawdry, gaudy implies a tasteless use of overly bright, often clashing colors or excessive ornamentation.

circus performers in gaudy costumes

When would meretricious be a good substitute for tawdry?

The words meretricious and tawdry can be used in similar contexts, but meretricious stresses falsity and may describe a tawdry show that beckons with a false allure or promise.

a meretricious wasteland of casinos and bars


Thesaurus Entries Near tawdry

Cite this Entry

“Tawdry.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/tawdry. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

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