Definition of ticky-tacky in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtikēˌtakē/
North American informal


Inferior or cheap material, especially as used in suburban building.
Example sentences
  • The number of single-person households is on the rise; we all want our own little boxes made of ticky-tacky.
  • And they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.


(Especially of a building or housing development) made of inferior material; cheap or in poor taste: ticky-tacky little houses
More example sentences
  • He called Sid about the hundreds of unsold, unrented, slapped-up, ticky-tacky apartments in Greater Belfast.


1960s: probably a reduplication of tacky2.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tick·y-tack·y

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