gimcrack

[ jim-krak ]
/ ˈdʒɪmˌkræk /

noun

a showy, useless trifle; gewgaw.

adjective

showy but useless.

Origin of gimcrack

1325–75 for earlier sense; Middle English gib(e)crake; compare Middle English gibben to waver (< Old French giber to shake)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gimcrack

British Dictionary definitions for gimcrack

gimcrack

/ (ˈdʒɪmˌkræk) /

adjective

cheap; shoddy

noun

a cheap showy trifle or gadget
Derived Formsgimcrackery, noun

Word Origin for gimcrack

C18: changed from C14 gibecrake little ornament, 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 gimcrack

gimcrack


n.

1610s, "showy person;" sense of "trifle" first recorded 1839; of uncertain origin, perhaps alteration of gibecrake, a kind of ornament on wooden furniture (mid-14c.), perhaps from Old French giber "to rattle, shake" + Middle English crak "sharp noise, crack." In 18c.-19c. it also meant "a person who has a turn for mechanical contrivances."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper