• synonyms


[gyoo-gaw, goo-]
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  1. something gaudy and useless; trinket; bauble.
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Also geegaw.

Origin of gewgaw

1175–1225; Middle English giuegaue; gradational compound of uncertain origin; perhaps akin to Middle French, French gogo (see À gogo)
Related formsgew·gawed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for gewgaw

trifle, toy, gimmick, oddity, trinket, souvenir, item, memento, curiosity, gimcrack, knickknack, curio, bauble, bagatelle, whatnot, bibelot, knick-knack

Examples from the Web for gewgaw

Historical Examples of gewgaw

  • Then sprang into existence the tawdry, the common, the gewgaw.

    The Gentle Art of Making Enemies

    James McNeill Whistler

  • And all of them with some gewgaw to be blessed in the Virgin's bowl.

    A Little Pilgrimage in Italy

    Olave M. (Olave Muriel) Potter

  • Some of them have been won by a mess of pottage, a mere bauble or a gewgaw.

  • To the gewgaw fetters of rhyme (invented by the monks to enslave the people) I have a rooted objection.

  • At her disposal was wealth without stint, every luxury the soft could desire, every gewgaw the vain could covet.

British Dictionary definitions for gewgaw


  1. a showy but valueless trinket
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  1. showy and valueless; gaudy
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Word Origin for gewgaw

C15: of unknown origin
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 gewgaw


early 13c., giuegaue, contemptuous reduplication, possibly connected with Old French gogue "rejoicing, jubilation; joke, prank, mockery, game;" or jou-jou "toy," baby-talk word, from jouer "to play," from Latin jocare (see joke).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper