knick-knack

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See also: knickknack

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From reduplication of knack.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

knick-knack (plural knick-knacks)

  1. A small ornament of minor value.
    • 1720, Daniel Defoe, Captain Singleton, London: J. Brotherton et al., p. 89,[1]
      Our Cutler, who had now a great Stock of things of his Handy-work, gave them some little Knick Knacks, as Plates of Silver and of Iron, cut Diamond Fashion, and cut into Hearts and into Rings, and they were mightily pleased.
    • 1844, Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, London: Chapman & Hall, Chapter 9, p. 110,[2]
      But there was no hitch in the conversation, nevertheless; for one gentleman, who travelled in the perfumery line, exhibited an interesting nick-nack, in the way of a remarkable cake of shaving soap, which he had lately met with in Germany []
    • 1881, Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady, London: Macmillan, Volume 2, Chapter 17, pp. 198-199,[3]
      The room was small, and densely filled with furniture; it gave an impression of faded silk and little statuettes which might totter if one moved. Rosier got up and wandered about with his careful tread, bending over the tables charged with knick-knacks and the cushions embossed with princely arms.
    • 1929, Frederick Philip Grove, “The Aim of Art” in It Needs to Be Said,[4]
      Is art anything that we have reason to value? Or is it a mere adornment of life which we can do without—a mere knick-knack for Dame Civilization to hang about her wrinkled neck in order to dazzle her neighbours?

Synonyms[edit]

See also: Wikisaurus:trinket.

Translations[edit]