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noun, plural trump·er·ies.
  1. something without use or value; rubbish; trash; worthless stuff.
  2. nonsense; twaddle: His usual conversation is pure trumpery.
  3. Archaic. worthless finery.
  1. of little or no value; trifling, worthless; rubbishy; trashy.

Origin of trumpery

1425–75; late Middle English trompery deceit < Middle French tromperie, equivalent to tromp(er) to deceive + -erie -ery
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for trumpery

Historical Examples

  • But I might have known that she could not, all at once, wean herself from the trumpery.

    The Bacillus of Beauty

    Harriet Stark

  • There's suffering enough, without adding to it with our trumpery judgments!

  • Some of them were not trumpery; they were as big as the heavens and the sea.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • Do they imagine that I either knew or cared for their trumpery wager!


    Charles James Lever

  • The trumpery thing had seemed a sign to them, and now the sign was broken.

    Tristram of Blent

    Anthony Hope

British Dictionary definitions for trumpery


noun plural -eries
  1. foolish talk or actions
  2. a useless or worthless article; trinket
  1. useless or worthless

Word Origin

C15: from Old French tromperie deceit, from tromper to cheat
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

Word Origin and History for trumpery


mid-15c., "deceit, trickery," from Middle French tromperie (14c.), from tromper "to deceive," of uncertain origin. Spelling influenced by trump (v.). Meaning "showy but worthless finery" is first recorded c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper