Synonyms & Antonyms of tawdry

(Entry 1 of 2)

marked by low quality and unbecoming appearance
  • We tolerate the neighbors' tawdry Christmas display during the holidays, but by January we're about sick of it.

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for tawdry

Antonyms & Near Antonyms for tawdry



Synonyms of tawdry (Entry 2 of 2)

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Frequently Asked Questions About tawdry

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

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The first known use of tawdry was in 1655

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Cite this Entry

“Tawdry.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tawdry

Nglish: Translation of tawdry for Spanish Speakers


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