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[kich] /kɪtʃ/
something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste.
1925-30; < German, derivative of kitschen to throw together (a work of art)
Related forms
kitschy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for kitsch
  • The lines separating carnival and culture, art and kitsch seem to have disappeared.
  • Neatly replaces the original kitsch with the absurd.
  • Inside, kitsch mannequins in traditional dress reveal how they lived at the time.
  • The lines between garish kitsch and substantive reality have been annihilated.
  • But the mild kitsch is fun and shouldn't lower your expectations for the food.
  • Yet academic chops and self-seriousness are also the hallmarks of kitsch.
  • Only if you enjoy pseudo-events and have a taste for phantasmagoric kitsch.
  • Because of his close ties with the commercial world, some art critics would describe his work as kitsch.
  • When they fail, they fail spectacularly, creating radical new forms of musical kitsch.
  • When it is revealed as a lie, as a presentation of invented suffering, it deteriorates to kitsch.
British Dictionary definitions for kitsch


  1. tawdry, vulgarized, or pretentious art, literature, etc, usually with popular or sentimental appeal
  2. (as modifier) a kitsch plaster bust of Beethoven
Derived Forms
kitschy, adjective
Word Origin
C20: from German
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 kitsch
1926, from Ger., lit. "gaudy, trash," from dial. kitschen "to smear."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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kitsch in Culture
kitsch [(kich)]

Works of art and other objects (such as furniture) that are meant to look costly but actually are in poor taste.

Note: Kitsch in literature and music is associated with sentimentalism as well as bad taste.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for kitsch



Literature or art having little esthetic merit but appealing powerfully to popular taste: It stands unchallenged as a masterpiece of kitsch/ The closest I can come to America is through its Kitsch

[1925+; fr German, ''trash, rubbish'']

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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