(of finery, trappings, etc.) gaudy; showy and cheap.
low or mean; base: tawdry motives.
cheap, gaudy apparel.
- taw·dri·ly, adverb
- taw·dri·ness, noun
- un·taw·dry, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tawdry in a sentence
The increased eyes on these cases have led average people to become armchair detectives, overrunning comments sections with tawdry speculation.The Bizarre and Unsettling Rise of True-Crime Makeup Videos on YouTube and TikTok | Hannah Jackson | October 18, 2021 | The Daily Beast
The site of a massacre ordered by British officers more than a century ago, the somber memorial has recently been given what several observers have called a tawdry makeover.India is turning the site of a colonial massacre into an Instagram-friendly attraction | Manavi Kapur | September 11, 2021 | Quartz
It has been reclaimed by some as a marker of empowerment and by others as a critical satire of male bravado and tawdry, art-world branding.Artist Lynda Benglis became controversial in an instant, but her career has thrived for decades | Philip Kennicott | August 26, 2021 | Washington Post
We hear Ruby, “the owner of tawdry nightclubs and strip clubs,” telling a reporter in a choked voice, “I love this city because there is so much culture here.”The trial of the man who killed the man who killed Kennedy | Thurston Clarke | July 9, 2021 | Washington Post
There is, however, one unsung hero to this otherwise tawdry story.The Castration of Alan Turing, Britain’s Code-Breaking WWII Hero | Clive Irving | November 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The show has been accused of peddling the kind of tawdry sentiment that has driven the inhabitants of Detroit to distraction.
So, why is it, then that are there so few movies lately that are not jaded, tawdry, humorlessly moralistic, or amorally violent?
But using donors to enrich oneself is as an old and tawdry practice that is about getting rich, not famous.How Did Cory Booker Get Himself Into Such a Dumb Money Mess? | Stuart Stevens | August 13, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The tawdry details of the Clinton scandals differed, but the basic narrative was one to which Americans were becoming inured.
In the centre of this table stood a tawdry Japanese vase, worth, perhaps, five or six shillings.Bella Donna | Robert Hichens
Even the children were not whimpering, the tawdry women were not hysterical, not a parrot raised his voice nor a dog whined.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
The fire was the really great adornment; all else was cheap, and some of it was tawdry.Wayside Courtships | Hamlin Garland
Singularly enough, this modest lady gave the origin to the word “tawdry,” so Thornbury declares.Milton's England | Lucia Ames Mead
Can't you see what a miserable sham the thing is—a cheap, tawdry imitation of the splendid classic type?The Tinted Venus | F. Anstey
British Dictionary definitions for tawdry
cheap, showy, and of poor quality: tawdry jewellery
- tawdrily, adverb
- tawdriness, 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