adjective, corn·i·er, corn·i·est.

of or abounding in corn.
  1. old-fashioned, trite, or lacking in subtlety: corny jokes.
  2. mawkishly sentimental: a corny soap opera.

Origin of corny

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

Synonyms for corny Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for corniness


adjective cornier or corniest slang

trite or banal
sentimental or mawkish
abounding in corn

Word Origin for corny

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper