- a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse, as sadder but wiser, or strong as an ox.
- (in art, literature, drama, etc.) a trite or hackneyed plot, character development, use of color, musical expression, etc.
- anything that has become trite or commonplace through overuse.
- British Printing.
- a stereotype or electrotype plate.
- a reproduction made in a like manner.
- trite; hackneyed; stereotyped; clichéd.
Origin of cliché
Synonyms for cliché
- a word or expression that has lost much of its force through overexposure, as for example the phraseit's got to get worse before it gets better
- an idea, action, or habit that has become trite from overuse
- printing, mainly British a stereotype or electrotype plate
Word Origin for cliché
1825, "electrotype, stereotype," from French cliché, a technical word in printer's jargon for "stereotype block," noun use of past participle of clicher "to click" (18c.), supposedly echoic of the sound of a mold striking molten metal. Figurative extension to "trite phrase, worn-out expression" is first attested 1888, following the course of stereotype. Related: Cliched (1928).
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.”