- a stereotype or electrotype plate.
- a reproduction made in a like manner.
BECOME A PRO CHEF WITH THIS EXQUISITE CUISINE QUIZ!
Origin of cliché
Words nearby cliché
What does cliché mean?
A cliché is an expression, idea, or action that has been overused to the point of seeming worn out, stale, ineffective, or meaningless. It especially refers to common phrases and elements of art, such as a movie plot.
Cliché can also be used as an adjective to describe such things. It is very often seen as cliche, without the accent mark over the e.
Example: Politicians’ speeches are often filled with one cliché after another so they don’t actually have to say anything meaningful.
Where does cliché come from?
The first recorded use of cliché meaning “an overused expression” comes from the 1880s. But cliché was originally used (earlier in the 1800s) in the context of printing to refer to a type of metal plate used to reproduce images. This word was borrowed directly from the French word cliché, which had this meaning and was based on the French word clicher, meaning “to make such a plate.” Interestingly, this device was also called a stereotype, a term that also went on to have a figurative meaning dealing with repeated ideas.
Such printing methods eventually went out of fashion, but the association with mass duplication stuck. Just as a printing machine creates copies of images over and over, a cliché is something that has been used over and over again.
Most commonly, cliché is used to refer to an expression or phrase that has been overused, especially to the point that it has lost its impact; think outside the box, actions speak louder than words, for all intents and purposes—these are all expressions that are clichés. Writers are often taught to avoid these kinds of clichés in their writing, but fiction writers and other artists often also try to avoid another kind of cliché: the stale idea. It’s hard to be original, but some things have been done to death. Explosions in action movies or a couple kissing at the end of a love story are two examples of well-worn clichés.
Things that are overdone can be described with the adjective cliché, as in Pro athletes talking about giving 110 percent and overcoming adversity is so cliché. Cliché can also be used to describe commonly done things in everyday life, as in I know it’s a cliché, but I can’t do anything before I have my coffee or Would it be cliché if I sent her flowers?
A person who follows all the most popular trends or who lives a very conventional lifestyle may be called a walking cliché. Truth be told, maybe that’s just the way it is. Everything’s been done. There’s nothing new under the sun. It is what it is. So just live and let live, you know?
For more examples of clichés, look here.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms of cliché?
- cliche (alternate spelling)
- clichés (plural)
What are some synonyms for cliché?
What are some words that often get used in discussing cliché?
How is cliché used in real life?
Clichés are present in all aspects of life. Writing, everyday conversations, TV shows, movies, books—clichés are everywhere.
“Like moths to a flame” is a well worn cliche, but “Empire” takes things to the next level by adding “Like birds to a pane of glass”. That sparrow going *thunk* against the patio window? That is our love, baby.
— Robyn Gallagher (@robynesc) February 23, 2020
A previously unknown letter written by Albert Camus expresses the need for liberty not as a commonplace cliché but as a condition that fills our lives.https://t.co/QGRLzC82iI
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) February 21, 2020
"You should try automatic drawing to free up your creativity- allow your unconscious mind to take over and free yourself of rational barriers and cliche"
— Alex Norris (@dorrismccomics) February 20, 2020
Try using cliché!
Which of the following words best describes a cliché?
Example sentences from the Web for cliché
I'm not sure that artist-chosen shows are of that much curatorial or art-historical use, and anyway they've become a cliche.
I realize how cliche and seemingly insufficient that sounds.
He biffed and blathered; no one will recall what he said other than the cliche he offered up that “these are different times.”Robert Shrum: Obama Had Everything On the Line and Delivered, While Romney Sputtered|Robert Shrum|October 17, 2012|DAILY BEAST
It's cliche to say, but a GOP that is not held captive to its radical wing is in everyone's best interest.
I especially reject the idea that such a cliche might have much to do with art.
As the cliche goes, "With enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow."Little Brother|Cory Doctorow
The beautiful casts of the French medals known to all electrotypers as Cliche moulds are in the alloy No. 3.
First, Engraved plate or Cliche representing the ornament with which the edge is to be decorated.The Progress of the Marbling Art|Josef Halfer
They were molded in an old system, and could not change their cliche.Now It Can Be Told|Philip Gibbs
Kennon winced at the cliche It was so ancient that it had lost all meaning.The Lani People|J. F. Bone
British Dictionary definitions for cliché
Derived forms of clichéclichd or clich'd, adjective
Word Origin for cliché
Cultural definitions for cliché
A much used expression that has lost its freshness and descriptive power. Some clichés are “I thank you from the bottom of my heart” and “It's only a drop in the bucket.”