Dictionary.com Unabridged

tacky

2 [tak-ee]
adjective, tackier, tackiest.
1.
not tasteful or fashionable; dowdy.
2.
shabby in appearance; shoddy: a tacky, jerry-built housing development.
3.
crass; cheaply vulgar; tasteless; crude.
4.
gaudy; flashy; showy.

Origin:
1880–85, Americanism; apparently identical with earlier tack(e)y small horse, pony, poor farmer; of obscure origin

tackiness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tacky or tackey1 (ˈtækɪ)
 
adj , tackier, tackiest
slightly sticky or adhesive: the varnish was still tacky
 
[C18: from tack1 (in the sense: stickiness)]
 
tackey or tackey1
 
adj
 
[C18: from tack1 (in the sense: stickiness)]
 
'tackily or tackey1
 
adv
 
'tackiness or tackey1
 
n

tacky2 (ˈtækɪ)
 
adj , tackier, tackiest
1.  shabby or shoddy
2.  ostentatious and vulgar
3.  (US) (of a person) dowdy; seedy
 
[C19: from dialect tacky an inferior horse, of unknown origin]
 
'tackiness2
 
n

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tacky
"sticky," 1788, from tack (1) in the sense of "an act of attaching temporarily."

tacky
"in poor taste," 1862, adj. use of tackey (n.) "small or inferior horse" (1800), later "hillbilly, cracker" (1888), of uncertain origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

tacky definition


  1. mod.
    cheap; crude. : That was a tacky thing to do to her.
  2. mod.
    alcohol intoxicated. : Tom was a little tacky, so he gave me his car keys.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
The game itself looks cheap and tacky at best, though.
It was somewhat sweet smelling when burned and it does get a little tacky when
  in contact with alcohol.
The souvenirs might be a bit on the tacky side, but you'll discover plenty of
  intriguing items in these lively markets.
Complaining is tacky and pointless, especially by people who are supposedly
  smart enough to know better.
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