[ gair-ish, gar- ]
/ ˈgɛər ɪʃ, ˈgær- /


crudely or tastelessly colorful, showy, or elaborate, as clothes or decoration.
excessively ornate or elaborate, as buildings or writings.
dressed in or ornamented with bright colors.
excessively bright; glaring.

Nearby words

  1. gargoylism,
  2. gari,
  3. garibaldi,
  4. garibaldi, giuseppe,
  5. garigue,
  6. garishly,
  7. garland,
  8. garland, hamlin,
  9. garland, judy,
  10. garlic

Origin of garish

1535–45; earlier gaurish, perhaps equivalent to obsolete gaure to stare (Middle English gauren < Old Norse) + -ish1

Related formsgar·ish·ly, adverbgar·ish·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for garishness

British Dictionary definitions for garishness


/ (ˈɡɛərɪʃ) /


gay or colourful in a crude or vulgar manner; gaudy
Derived Formsgarishly, adverbgarishness, noun

Word Origin for garish

C16: from earlier gaure to stare + -ish

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 garishness



1540s, possibly from obsolete Middle English gawren "to stare" (c.1200), which is of uncertain origin (perhaps from Old Norse gaurr "rough fellow") + -ish. Related: Garishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper