gaudy

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Origin uncertain; perhaps from gaud (ornament, trinket), itself perhaps from Old French gaudir (to rejoice).

A common claim that the word derives from Antoni Gaudí, designer of Barcelona's Sagrada Família Basilica, is not supported by evidence (the word was in use at least half a century before Gaudí was born).

Adjective[edit]

gaudy (comparative gaudier, superlative gaudiest)

  1. very showy or ornamented, now especially when excessive, or in a tasteless or vulgar manner
    • Shakespeare
      Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, / But not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
      The rooms were lofty and handsome, and their furniture suitable to the fortune of its proprietor; but Elizabeth saw, with admiration of his taste, that it was neither gaudy nor uselessly fine; with less of splendour, and more real elegance, than the furniture of Rosings.
    • 1887, Homer Greene, Burnham Breaker
      A large gaudy, flowing cravat, and an ill-used silk hat, set well back on the wearer's head, completed this somewhat noticeable costume.
    • 2005, Thomas Hauser & Marilyn Cole Lownes, "How Bling-bling Took Over the Ring", The Observer, 9 January 2005
      Gaudy jewellery might offend some people's sense of style. But former heavyweight champion and grilling-machine entrepreneur George Foreman is philosophical about today's craze for bling-bling.
  2. (obsolete) gay; merry; festive
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Tennyson to this entry?)
    • Shakespeare
      Let's have one other gaudy night.
    • Twain
      And then, there he was, slim and handsome, and dressed the gaudiest and prettiest you ever saw...
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

gaudy (plural gaudies)

  1. One of the large beads in the rosary at which the paternoster is recited.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Gower to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin gaudium "joy".

Noun[edit]

gaudy (plural gaudies)

  1. A reunion held by one of the colleges of the University of Oxford for alumni, normally held during the summer vacations.