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tacky

1
[tak-ee]
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adjective, tack·i·er, tack·i·est.
  1. sticky to the touch; adhesive.
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Origin of tacky

1
First recorded in 1780–90; tack1 + -y1
Related formstack·i·ness, noun

tacky

2
[tak-ee]
adjective, tack·i·er, tack·i·est.
  1. not tasteful or fashionable; dowdy.
  2. shabby in appearance; shoddy: a tacky, jerry-built housing development.
  3. crass; cheaply vulgar; tasteless; crude.
  4. gaudy; flashy; showy.
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Origin of tacky

2
1880–85, Americanism; apparently identical with earlier tack(e)y small horse, pony, poor farmer; of obscure origin
Related formstack·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for tacky

gaudy, run-down, shabby, vulgar, dingy, faded, messy, seedy, threadbare, sleazy, broken-down, crude, dilapidated, dowdy, frumpy, inelegant, mangy, nasty, out-of-date, outmoded

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Contemporary Examples of tacky

Historical Examples of tacky


British Dictionary definitions for tacky

tacky

1

tackey

adjective tackier or tackiest
  1. slightly sticky or adhesivethe varnish was still tacky
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Derived Formstackily, adverbtackiness, noun

Word Origin for tacky

C18: from tack 1 (in the sense: stickiness)

tacky

2
adjective tackier or tackiest informal
  1. shabby or shoddy
  2. ostentatious and vulgar
  3. US (of a person) dowdy; seedy
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Derived Formstackiness, noun

Word Origin for tacky

C19: from dialect tacky an inferior horse, 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 tacky

adj.1

"sticky," 1788, from tack (n.1) in the sense of "an act of attaching temporarily" + -y (2).

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adj.2

"in poor taste," 1862, adj. use of tackey (n.) "small or inferior horse" (1800), later "hillbilly, cracker" (1888), of uncertain origin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper