9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[gair-ish, gar-] /ˈgɛər ɪʃ, ˈgær-/
crudely or tastelessly colorful, showy, or elaborate, as clothes or decoration.
excessively ornate or elaborate, as buildings or writings.
dressed in or ornamented with bright colors.
excessively bright; glaring.
Origin of garish
1535-45; earlier gaurish, perhaps equivalent to obsolete gaure to stare (Middle English gauren < Old Norse) + -ish1
Related forms
garishly, adverb
garishness, noun
1. loud, tawdry. See gaudy1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for garish
  • Ignore the garish colours and focus instead on the darkest parts of the picture.
  • Put down that garish sweater and the goofy gag gift.
  • The licence plates of ordinary people feature a garish five numbers.
  • The result can be garish or melodramatic.
  • Within the garish new world of American professional soccer, such incidents are commonplace.
  • They are garish and plastic, with pink-and-lavender nylon hair.
  • The cartoonlike illustrations, featuring needle-nosed characters and rather garish colors, are not especially appealing.
  • The drably colored but busy text and borders that frame each letter, however, accentuate the garish tones of the art.
  • Just avoid garish scrolling graphics that crash browsers and burn eyeballs.
  • In this catalogue of imaginary monsters, each is more gooey and garish than the last.
British Dictionary definitions for garish


gay or colourful in a crude or vulgar manner; gaudy
Derived Forms
garishly, adverb
garishness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from earlier gaure to stare + -ish
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 garish

1540s, possibly from obsolete Middle English gawren "to stare" (c.1200), which is of uncertain origin (perhaps from Old Norse gaurr "rough fellow") + -ish. Related: Garishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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