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[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 garishly
  • Crowned with a mosque-inspired tower, it is garishly decorated with flowery-tiled columns and busts.
  • In situ only the pediment figures, garishly painted, were clearly visible from the ground.
  • Mark views these garishly made-up characters with affection and concern.
  • But the market is rewarding his often garishly executed work.
  • Their apoplectic overacting is more than matched by the special effects in which the movie is garishly gift-wrapped.
  • The gargantuan and garishly opulent hotel is worth a visit.
  • Tom is a bland, mopey hanger-on whose mediocre original songs flaunt garishly morbid imagery.
  • Two garishly painted actresses lurk on either side of the stage and occasionally take symbolic action in the play.
  • The acting, when it is not garishly indulgent, is slack and fuzzy.
British Dictionary definitions for garishly


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 garishly

1590s, from garish + -ly (2).



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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