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View synonyms for tinsel

tinsel

[ tin-suhl ]

noun

  1. a glittering metallic substance, as copper or brass, in thin sheets, used in pieces, strips, threads, etc., to produce a sparkling effect cheaply.
  2. a metallic yarn, usually wrapped around a core yarn of silk, rayon, or cotton, for weaving brocade or lamé.
  3. anything showy or attractive with little or no real worth; showy pretense:

    The actress was tired of the fantasy and tinsel of her life.

  4. Obsolete. a fabric, formerly in use, of silk or wool interwoven with threads of gold, silver, or, later, copper.


adjective

  1. consisting of or containing tinsel.

verb (used with object)

, tin·seled, tin·sel·ing or (especially British) tin·selled, tin·sel·ling.
  1. to adorn with tinsel.
  2. to adorn with anything glittering.
  3. to make showy or gaudy.

tinsel

/ ˈtɪnsəl /

noun

  1. a decoration consisting of a piece of string with thin strips of metal foil attached along its length
  2. a yarn or fabric interwoven with strands of glittering thread
  3. anything cheap, showy, and gaudy


verb

  1. to decorate with or as if with tinsel

    snow tinsels the trees

  2. to give a gaudy appearance to

adjective

  1. made of or decorated with tinsel
  2. showily but cheaply attractive; gaudy

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Derived Forms

  • ˈtinselly, adjective
  • ˈtinsel-ˌlike, adjective

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Other Words From

  • tinsel·like adjective
  • over·tinsel verb (used with object) overtinseled overtinseling or (especially British) overtinselled overtinselling
  • un·tinseled adjective
  • un·tinselled adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of tinsel1

First recorded in 1495–1505; by shortening of Middle French estincelle ( Old French estincele ) “a spark, flash,” from Vulgar Latin stincilla, unrecorded variant of Latin scintilla; first used attributively in phrases tinsel satin, tinsel cloth; scintilla

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Word History and Origins

Origin of tinsel1

C16: from Old French estincele a spark, from Latin scintilla; compare stencil

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Example Sentences

Hollywood sure hopes so, because the idea that disgruntled insiders could do this is terrifying to Tinsel Town.

Tinsel, garland, and chestnut shells are the only combustibles on offer.

The 46-look collection consisted of drop-waist skirts, cellophane cocktail dresses, and translucent and tinsel fabrics.

Then I begin to see tinsel, and Christmas lights, and stars, and trees dripping with colored balls.

After a few opening songs, we broke up into small groups and hung wreaths and garlands and tinsel (oh my).

Stripped of its parade and tinsel, however, this theory is nothing but the old pantheism revived.

Clearly the sans-culotte of Brussels was a mere tinsel imitation of the genuine article at Paris.

Body greenish herl of Peacock,—ribbed with gold tinsel,—wrapt with red silk,—red hackle over all.

It was Jim Carter, whose suit of cotton batting, decorated with tinsel and cedar, was most becoming.

The harness is extremely gay, painted in all colours, red and blue and yellow, and made up with bits of tinsel and glitter.

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