Something tawdry is both cheap and showy.
In other words, tawdry things are tacky, tasteless, and shoddy.
TAW dree (rhymes with "Audrey")
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a tawdry dress.”
2. After a linking verb, as in “The dress was tawdry.”)
You can use "tawdry" as a noun, too, to mean clothes that are showy and cheap, but I've rarely seen this usage.
How to use it:
Use discretion--no one wants to be called tawdry!
You might talk about tawdry people, tawdry behavior and habits, a tawdry publicity stunt, tawdry words and phrases and language, tawdry headlines and articles and publications, tawdry stories and films and books and status updates, tawdry places, tawdry clothes and accessories, tawdry houses and cars, and so on.
You can get a little more abstract and talk about a tawdry lifestyle, a tawdry quality of life, and all the tawdry details of any cheap, gaudy event or affair.
The photos she posts of herself in skimpy clothes are, collectively, a very sad and tawdry cry for attention.
Every tawdry exposé on eating disorders in the tabloids is exactly the same.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "tawdry" means when you can explain it without saying "tacky" or "off-putting."
Think of something showy you used to wear, carry, use, or drive when you were younger, and fill in the blank: "I think they're tawdry now, but I used to _____."
Example: "I think they're tawdry now, but I used to wear the brightest-colored, weirdest-patterned tights I could find in high school."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
We’re starting off with easy questions, then working our way toward some whoppers at the end of the month, all the while focusing on funny, unusual words; surprising word histories; and cool tidbits about the language.
What word is a combination of “boom” and “hoist”?
Try this one today. It should feel moderately difficult:
From Ceres, the ancient Roman goddess of agriculture,
we get this food word: "_ _ _ _ _ _."
A Point Well Made:
Dave Pell: “Showing up at a gold rush with a shovel and a pan doesn't make you a genius.”
1. One opposite of TAWDRY is
2. The company would probably prefer to _____ its tawdry history.
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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