- (of finery, trappings, etc.) gaudy; showy and cheap.
- low or mean; base: tawdry motives.
- cheap, gaudy apparel.
Origin of tawdry
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tawdriness
There is a tawdriness about them all, something artificial and unreal.The Traitors
E. Phillips (Edward Phillips) Oppenheim
In England she had borrowed the untidiness and tawdriness that degrade the English poor.Our House
Elizabeth Robins Pennell
In the midst of all the tawdriness she was a still and sacred figure—a Madonna with a child.The Tin Soldier
In spite of the gilded sea-horses and chariot, there is no tawdriness here; all is bold, splendid, and imposing.The Mediterranean
T. G. (Thomas Gray) Bonney, E. A. R. Ball, H. D. Traill, Grant Allen, and Arthur Griffiths
Hence the tawdriness which is justly alleged against much Italian literature.The Memoires of Casanova, Complete
Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
- cheap, showy, and of poor qualitytawdry jewellery
Word Origin and History for tawdriness
"cheap, showy, gaudy," 1670s, adjective use of noun tawdry "silk necktie for women" (1610s), shortened from tawdry lace (1540s), an alteration of St. Audrey's lace, a necktie or ribbon sold at the annual fair at Ely on Oct. 17 commemorating St. Audrey (queen of Northumbria, died 679). Her association with cheap lace necklaces is that she supposedly died of a throat tumor, which she considered God's punishment for her youthful fondness for showy necklaces [Bede].