Of unknown origin, possibly from obsolete Middle English gawren (“to stare”) which is of uncertain origin, probably from Old Norse gá (“to watch, heed”) or gaurr (“rough fellow”) (Proto-Indo-European *gʰow-rós, from *gʰew- (“to be angry”)). Compare with English gaw.
- Overly ostentatious; so colourful as to be in bad taste. [from 1540s]
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:gaudy
- The dress fits her well, but the pattern is rather garish.
- 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
- "My tastes," he said, still smiling, "incline me to the garishly sunlit side of this planet." And, to tease her and arouse her to combat: "I prefer a farandole to a nocturne; I'd rather have a painting than an etching; Mr. Whistler bores me with his monochromatic mud; I don't like dull colours, dull sounds, dull intellects; […]."
- 2003 August 10, Ken Keeler, “The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings”, in Futurama, season 5, episode 16, Fox Broadcasting Company:
- Leela: He gave me mechanical ears / Effective though just a bit garish.
- 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 57:
- She also said that Thameslink trains were deliberately garish, so as to lure drivers stuck on the M1, which runs alongside the line around Radlett.