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gaudy1

[gaw-dee] /ˈgɔ di/
adjective, gaudier, gaudiest.
1.
brilliantly or excessively showy:
gaudy plumage.
2.
cheaply showy in a tasteless way; flashy.
3.
ostentatiously ornamented; garish.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; orig. attributive use of gaudy2; later taken as a derivative of gaud
Related forms
gaudily, adverb
gaudiness, noun
ungaudily, adverb
ungaudiness, noun
Synonyms
2. tawdry, loud; conspicuous, obvious. Gaudy, flashy, garish, showy agree in the idea of conspicuousness and, often, bad taste. That which is gaudy challenges the eye, as by brilliant colors or evident cost, and is not in good taste: a gaudy hat. Flashy suggests insistent and vulgar display, in rather a sporty manner: a flashy necktie. Garish suggests a glaring brightness, or crude vividness of color, and too much ornamentation: garish decorations. Showy applies to that which is strikingly conspicuous, but not necessarily offensive to good taste: a garden of showy flowers; a showy dress.
Antonyms
2. modest, sober.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for gaudinesses

gaudy1

/ˈɡɔːdɪ/
adjective gaudier, gaudiest
1.
gay, bright, or colourful in a crude or vulgar manner; garish
Derived Forms
gaudily, adverb
gaudiness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from gaud

gaudy2

/ˈɡɔːdɪ/
noun (pl) gaudies
1.
(Brit) a celebratory festival or feast held at some schools and colleges
Word Origin
C16: from Latin gaudium joy, from gaudēre to rejoice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for gaudinesses

gaudy

adj.

"showy, tastelessly rich," 1580s, probably ultimately from Middle English gaudi "large, ornamental bead in a rosary" (early 14c.); but there is a parallel sense of gaudy as "full of trickery" (1520s), from Middle English gaud "deception, trick," from gaudi "a jest, trick," possibly from Anglo-French gaudir "be merry, scoff," from Latin gaudere "rejoice" (see joy).

Alternative etymology of the adjective is from Middle English gaudegrene "yellowish-green" (early 14c.), originally "green dye" obtained from a plant formerly known as weld, from a Germanic source (see weld (n.)), which became gaude in Old French. The English term supposedly shifted sense from "weld-dye" to "bright." As a noun, "feast, festival" 1650s, from gaudy day "day of rejoicing" (1560s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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