[shmahlts, shmawlts]
Informal. exaggerated sentimentalism, as in music or soap operas.
fat or grease, especially of a chicken.
Also, schmalz.

1930–35; < Yiddish shmalts or German Schmaltz; cognate with smelt1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
schmaltz or schmalz (ʃmælts, ʃmɔːlts, ʃmælts, ʃmɔːlts)
1.  excessive sentimentality, esp in music
2.  (US) animal fat used in cooking
[C20: from German (Schmalz) and Yiddish: melted fat, from Old High German smalz]
schmalz or schmalz
[C20: from German (Schmalz) and Yiddish: melted fat, from Old High German smalz]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"banal or excessive sentimentalism," 1935, from Yiddish shmalts, lit. "melted fat," from M.H.G. smalz, from O.H.G., related to smelzan "to melt." Modern Ger. Schmaltz "fat, grease" has the same figurative meaning. First mentioned in Eng. as "a derogatory term used to describe straight jazz" ["Vanity
Fair," Nov. 1935].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He set forth a world view with intellectual coherence and a minimum of schmaltz.
He is full of schmaltz and spouts the latest stencils of psychology while he takes dishonest advantage of a friend.
He could afford to go easy on the schmaltz, and the emotional content of the songs came through all the more clearly.
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