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From the verb hoke (to give an artificial feel to), from hokum.



hokey (comparative hokier, superlative hokiest)

  1. (US, colloquial) phony, as if a hoax; noticeably contrived; of obviously flimsy credibility or quality
    When asked for his book report, Chad came up a series of hokier and hokier excuses.
    I thought the windshield wiper blades were a little hokey when I saw their cheap packaging.
  2. (US, colloquial) corny; overly or unbelievably sentimental
    Synonyms: cheesy, kitschy
    Terry hated going to the cinema with Pat, she always chose hokey romantic comedies that made him want to gag.
    • 2018, Ling Ma, chapter 4, in Severance, →ISBN:
      After the chant, we bowed our heads and closed our eyes, as Bob administered the recitation, part prayer and part affirmation—an ever-changing hokey thing that he improvised on the spot.

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