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See more synonyms for posh on Thesaurus.com
  1. sumptuously furnished or appointed; luxurious: a posh apartment.
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Origin of posh1

1915–20; of obscure origin; compareposha dandy (recorded as British slang in 1890); the popular notion that the word is an acronym from port out(ward), starboard home, said to be the preferred accommodation on ships traveling between England and India, is without foundation


  1. (used as an exclamation of contempt or disgust.)
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Origin of posh2

First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

exclusive, swank, fashionable, classy, swanky, opulent, elegant, luxury, grand, trendy, chic, deluxe, high-class, ritzy, modish, rich, smart, swish, la-di-da

Examples from the Web for posh

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for posh


  1. smart, elegant, or fashionable; exclusiveposh clothes
  2. upper-class or genteel
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  1. in a manner associated with the upper classto talk posh
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Derived Formsposhness, noun

Word Origin

C19: often said to be an acronym of the phrase port out, starboard home, the most desirable location for a cabin in British ships sailing to and from the East, being the north-facing or shaded side; but more likely to be a development of obsolete slang posh a dandy
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 posh


by 1914 (1903 as push), of uncertain origin; no evidence for the common derivation from an acronym of port outward, starboard home, supposedly the shipboard accommodations of wealthy British traveling to India on the P & O Lines (to keep their cabins out of the sun); as per OED, see objections outlined in G. Chowdharay-Best, "Mariner's Mirror," Jan. 1971; also see here . More likely from slang posh "a dandy" (1890), from thieves' slang meaning "money" (1830), originally "coin of small value, halfpenny," possibly from Romany posh "half" [Barnhart].

The cavalryman, far more than the infantryman, makes a point of wearing "posh" clothing on every possible occasion -- "posh" being a term used to designate superior clothing, or articles of attire other than those issued by and strictly conforming to the regulations. [E. Charles Vivian, "The British Army From Within," London, 1914]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper