trite

as in cliche
used or heard so often as to be dull the speaker offered disappointingly trite sentiments about embracing each challenge as an opportunity

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How does the adjective trite differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of trite are hackneyed, stereotyped, and threadbare. While all these words mean "lacking the freshness that evokes attention or interest," trite applies to a once effective phrase or idea spoiled from long familiarity.

"you win some, you lose some" is a trite expression

When would hackneyed be a good substitute for trite?

While in some cases nearly identical to trite, hackneyed stresses being worn out by overuse so as to become dull and meaningless.

all of the metaphors and images in the poem are hackneyed

When might stereotyped be a better fit than trite?

The words stereotyped and trite are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, stereotyped implies falling invariably into the same pattern or form.

views of minorities that are stereotyped and out-of-date

When could threadbare be used to replace trite?

The words threadbare and trite can be used in similar contexts, but threadbare applies to what has been used until its possibilities of interest have been totally exhausted.

a mystery novel with a threadbare plot

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Cite this Entry

“Trite.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/trite. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

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