• synonyms


adjective, corn·i·er, corn·i·est.
  1. of or abounding in corn.
  2. Informal.
    1. old-fashioned, trite, or lacking in subtlety: corny jokes.
    2. mawkishly sentimental: a corny soap opera.
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Origin of corny1

1350–1400; 1930–35 for def 2; Middle English; see corn1, -y1
Related formscorn·i·ly, adverbcorn·i·ness, noun


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for corniness


adjective cornier or corniest slang
  1. trite or banal
  2. sentimental or mawkish
  3. abounding in corn
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Word Origin

C16 (C20 in the sense rustic, banal): from corn 1 + -y 1
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 corniness



1570s, "full of corn, pertaining to corn, from corn (n.1) + -y (2). Chaucer used it of ale (late 14c.), perhaps to mean "malty." American English slang "old-fashioned, sentimental" is from 1932 (first attested in "Melody Maker"), perhaps originally "something appealing to country folk" (corn-fed in the same sense is attested from 1929). Related: Cornily; corniness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper