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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mrs. Chipperton and corny wont come without Uncle Chipperton.

    A Jolly Fellowship Frank R. Stockton
  • This was all said with a sort of nonchalance, which corny did not at all like.

  • corny put the provisions into a locker in the cabin, and there was enough left for two or three meals more.

    All Adrift Oliver Optic
  • "Faults on both sides generally in all quarrels," said corny.

  • He seemed to be all right with corny now, and we had a good time together.

    A Jolly Fellowship Frank R. Stockton
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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