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[kawr-nee] /ˈkɔr ni/
adjective, cornier, corniest.
of or abounding in corn.
  1. old-fashioned, trite, or lacking in subtlety:
    corny jokes.
  2. mawkishly sentimental:
    a corny soap opera.
Origin of corny1
1350-1400; 1930-35 for def 2; Middle English; see corn1, -y1
Related forms
cornily, adverb
corniness, noun
2. hackneyed, banal, stale.


[kawr-nee] /ˈkɔr ni/
adjective, cornier, corniest.
pertaining to or affected with corns of the feet.
1700-10; corn2 + -y1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for corny
  • It was an old gag, and so corny it would make you groan.
  • There isn't much beauty to be seen, unless you include some polluted sunrises and corny naturism.
  • Sometimes, as a friend used to say, things are so corny they're good.
  • The second rewarding aspect of the job probably sounds corny but it's true: teaching.
  • She can sniff a corny guy or a phony book quick as a dog smells a rat.
  • What they all have in common is that they add extra value to an easy-to-emulate product by throwing in a corny experience.
  • It was corny in the original, but got better and better over the years.
  • corny notions of dollar-savings and/or materialist minimalism have never worked and are never going to work against consumerism.
  • The group merges dance music from all over the world without the results sounding at all forced or corny.
  • She nails college kids' vocabulary without becoming corny.
British Dictionary definitions for corny


adjective (slang) cornier, corniest
trite or banal
sentimental or mawkish
abounding in corn
Word Origin
C16 (C20 in the sense rustic, banal): from corn1 + -y1
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 corny

1570s, "full of corn, pertaining to corn, from corn (n.1) + -y (2). Chaucer used it of ale (late 14c.), perhaps to mean "malty." American English slang "old-fashioned, sentimental" is from 1932 (first attested in "Melody Maker"), perhaps originally "something appealing to country folk" (corn-fed in the same sense is attested from 1929). Related: Cornily; corniness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for corny



Overly sentimental; banal; devoted to or expressing old-fashioned moral convictions; cornball

[1930+ Jazz musicians; the writer Mari Sandoz (1896–1966) suggested as possible origin the corn-seed catalogs sent to Midwestern farmers before and after 1900, which were larded with tired old jokes; the jokes were called corn jokes and corny]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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