Definition of cliché in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkliːʃeɪ/
(also cliche)


1A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought: that old cliché ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ the usual worn-out clichés about the English [mass noun]: a mixture of good humour, innuendo, and cliché
More example sentences
  • In the same way that an overused phrase inevitably becomes a cliche, a recurring joke sooner or later loses impact.
  • You have written a cliche, a worn-out metaphor.
  • And considering the lack of standard rap clichés on their demo and their seeming indifference to the mainstream, it may take awhile for the Blender to find their constituency.
platitude, hackneyed phrase, commonplace, banality, truism, trite phrase, banal phrase, overworked phrase, stock phrase, bromide;
expression, phrase, formula
informal old chestnut
rare apophthegm
1.1A very predictable or unoriginal thing or person: each building is a mishmash of tired clichés you’re a walking cliché
More example sentences
  • LXG does not rise above the mediocre, diving headfirst into tired clichés and boring stunt work, made more annoying by the brutal dialogue.
  • But Bloodwork is all tired clichés and half-baked serial killers and generic shots of Clint standing in rooms or on his boat.
  • Even now, when castaways and sunken ships are tired Hollywood clichés, the Life of Pi is refreshingly original.
2 Printing , chiefly British A stereotype or electrotype.
Example sentences
  • Both genres, so formulaic, overdetermined by clichés and stereotypes, are eminently accessible for parody.
  • I applaud the author for avoiding the first time novelist's trap of resorting to cliches and stereotyping.
  • Yes, modern woman is here in all her many stereotypes, although who is to say that cliches may not sometimes be true.


Mid 19th century: French, past participle (used as a noun) of clicher 'to stereotype'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cli¦ché

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.