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cliché

[klee-shey, kli-] /kliˈʃeɪ, klɪ-/
noun
1.
a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse, as sadder but wiser, or strong as an ox.
2.
(in art, literature, drama, etc.) a trite or hackneyed plot, character development, use of color, musical expression, etc.
3.
anything that has become trite or commonplace through overuse.
4.
British Printing.
  1. a stereotype or electrotype plate.
  2. a reproduction made in a like manner.
adjective
5.
trite; hackneyed; stereotyped; clichéd.
Also, cliche.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35; < French: stereotype plate, stencil, cliché, noun use of past participle of clicher to make such a plate, said to be imitative of the sound of the metal pressed against the matrix
Synonyms
1. platitude, bromide, stereotype, commonplace.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for cliches
  • Duck needs a new quiver of cliches to roll around as he rattles his ice.
  • Blues-rock duo avoids cliches and throws in some pure soul.
  • The movie takes all these hoary cliches and presents them without any trace of irony or self-awareness.
  • Reads for deeper meanings under the surface of the cliches.
  • They are often colloquial, often slang, and through overuse can become cliches.
British Dictionary definitions for cliches

cliché

/ˈkliːʃeɪ/
noun
1.
a word or expression that has lost much of its force through overexposure, as for example the phrase it's got to get worse before it gets better
2.
an idea, action, or habit that has become trite from overuse
3.
(printing, mainly Brit) a stereotype or electrotype plate
Derived Forms
clichéd, cliché'd, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from French, from clicher to stereotype; imitative of the sound made by the matrix when it is dropped into molten metal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cliches

cliche

n.

1825, "electrotype, stereotype," from French cliché, a technical word in printer's jargon for "stereotype block," noun use of past participle of clicher "to click" (18c.), supposedly echoic of the sound of a mold striking molten metal. Figurative extension to "trite phrase, worn-out expression" is first attested 1888, following the course of stereotype. Related: Cliched (1928).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cliches in Culture

cliché definition


A much used expression that has lost its freshness and descriptive power. Some clichés are “I thank you from the bottom of my heart” and “It's only a drop in the bucket.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Difficulty index for cliché

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Word Value for cliches

14
16
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