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From French clinquant, from clinquer (to clink), from Dutch klinken (to sound, ring, clink), from Middle Dutch clinken, clingen, from Old Dutch *clingan, from Proto-West Germanic *klingan, from Proto-Germanic *klinganą (to sound, ring). Cognate with German klingen (to sound).



clinquant (comparative more clinquant, superlative most clinquant)

  1. Glittery; gleaming; sparkling; dressed in, or overlaid with, tinsel finery.


clinquant (uncountable)

  1. Dutch metal.
  2. Tinsel; glitter.
    • 1806 [a. 1681], Lucy Hutchinson, Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, 3rd edition, volume 2, Longman, Hurst, Bees, and Orme, published 1810, page 177:
      Harrison came that day in a scarlett coate and cloake, both laden with gold and silver lace, and the coate so cover'd with clinquant, that scarcely could one discerne the ground,
    • 1762, George Vertue, Horace Walpole, Some Anecdotes of Painting in England, volume 2, published 1849, page 442:
      Lely supplied the want of taste with clinquant; his nymphs trail fringes and embroidery through meadows and purling streams.