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tawdry

adjective

Definition: 1. gaudy and cheap in quality; 2. mean-spirited and lacking in human decency

Synonyms: cheap, flashy, shameful, gaudy, glitzy, showy, sleazy, tacky

Antonyms: reserved, precious, valuable

Tips: Think, gaudy (showy) and tacky. Tawdry is used to describe things that are showy but cheap. Tawdry is also frequently used to describe things that are indecent, such as a "tawdry affair." Tawdry was first used to describe a gaudy, yet poor quality lace sold at Saint Audrey's fair in England. If you say Saint Audery lace really fast it sounds like tawdry lace. Tawdry has been used to describe gaudy yet poor quality clothing ever since.

Usage Examples:

Her tawdry outfit was in bad taste for the occasion. (glitzy, showy, tacky)

She had a tawdry affair with her boss. (sleazy, cheap, shameful)

The politician had an affair while in office, and consequently, found it difficult to escape his tawdry past. (shameful)

Amy thought it was fun to dress in as tawdry a manner as possible on Halloween, because nothing seems too tacky on that night. (flashy, gaudy, glitzy, tacky)


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