[ jim-krak ]
See synonyms for: gimcrackgimcracks on

  1. a showy, useless trifle; gewgaw.

  1. 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)

Other words for gimcrack

Words Nearby gimcrack Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gimcrack in a sentence

  • About two-thirds of the masters have lost their heads, and are trying to produce a gimcrack copy of Eton.

    The Longest Journey | E. M. Forster
  • When gazing at it one gazed at the ruin, not of a cottage or of a gimcrack villa, but at the ruins of a palace.

    December Love | Robert Hichens
  • I was never one to jump to gimcrack conclusions, and I said as much with perhaps more candour than the occasion required.

    Witching Hill | E. W. Hornung
  • Dominating the town is the two-or three-story “Queen Hotel,” the last word in flamboyant, gimcrack hideousness.

  • There were many flowers in the room—some in Cloisonne vases, others in gimcrack vessels such as are bought at country fairs.

    Simon the Jester | William J. Locke

British Dictionary definitions for gimcrack


/ (ˈdʒɪmˌkræk) /

  1. cheap; shoddy

  1. a cheap showy trifle or gadget

Origin of gimcrack

C18: changed from C14 gibecrake little ornament, of unknown origin

Derived forms of gimcrack

  • gimcrackery, noun

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