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[kich] /kɪtʃ/
something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste.
Origin of kitsch
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for kitschy
  • His aim is to attract tourists from the city, but the kitschy farm fails miserably.
  • Next to a kitschy gift shop that sells ninja action figures and wax paper umbrellas, a metal security gate shrouds a storefront.
  • Inside, the couple has pulled up the mauve shag carpet and torn down the kitschy wallpaper.
  • It's kitschy in design, constructed of plastic imprinted with wood grain.
  • How stylish or kitschy the effect is depends entirely on the image you choose, so choose carefully.
  • Together nothing seems out of place even the kitschy shopping centres.
  • The border town is great kitschy fun, but it's also fascinating geologically.
  • It was kitschy but the buildings were more or less real and the stores crowded with shoppers and tourists from the provinces.
  • Enjoy the boisterous atmosphere within the kitschy setting.
  • And they're also popular with folks who think the stuff is cute or kitschy.
British Dictionary definitions for kitschy


  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 kitschy

1965, from kitsch + -y (2). Related: Kitchiness.



1926, from German kitsch, literally "gaudy, trash," from dialectal kitschen "to smear."

What we English people call ugliness in German art is simply the furious reaction against what Germans call süsses Kitsch, the art of the picture postcard, and of what corresponds to the royalty ballad. It has for years been their constant reproach against us that England is the great country of Kitsch. Many years ago a German who loved England only too well said to me, 'I like your English word plain; it is a word for which we have no equivalent in German, because all German women are plain.' He might well have balanced it by saying that English has no equivalent for the word Kitsch. [Edward J. Dent, "The Music of Arnold Schönberg," "The Living Age," July 9, 1921]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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kitschy 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 kitschy



Being or resembling kitsch: Visconti's kitschy film/ Its kitschy Lupe Velez ambiance (1960s+)



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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