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[shmahlts, shmawlts] /ʃmɑlts, ʃmɔlts/
Informal. exaggerated sentimentalism, as in music or soap operas.
fat or grease, especially of a chicken.
Origin of schmaltz
1930-35; < Yiddish shmalts or German Schmaltz; cognate with smelt1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for schmaltz
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for schmaltz


/ʃmælts; ʃmɔːlts/
excessive sentimentality, esp in music
(US) animal fat used in cooking
Word Origin
C20: from German (Schmalz) and Yiddish: melted fat, from Old High German smalz
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 schmaltz

"banal or excessive sentimentalism," 1935, from Yiddish shmalts, literally "melted fat," from Middle High German smalz, from Old High German smalz "animal fat," related to smelzan "to melt" (see smelt (v.)). Modern German Schmalz "fat, grease" has the same figurative meaning. First mentioned in English as "a derogatory term used to describe straight jazz" ["Vanity Fair," Nov. 1935].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for schmaltz



Blatant sentimentality, esp musical or theatrical material of a cloyingly sweet and maudlin sort; corn: happy combination of good theater and good pathos known as schmaltz

[1935+ Swing musicians; fr Yiddish shmalts, literally ''rendered fat'']

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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