There are 2 main definitions of tacky in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

tacky1

Line breaks: tacky
Pronunciation: /ˈtaki
 
/

adjective (tackier, tackiest)

(Of glue, paint, or other substances) not fully dry and retaining a slightly sticky feel: the paint was still tacky
More example sentences
  • It puts out a real sticky, tacky substance and is designed to restrict the movement of somebody.
  • If a fibre is mechanically extruded from a solution of (natural or artificial) silk protein just like pulling a thread from tacky glue, the fibre is still not as strong as real silk thread.
  • Remove each stick, add a dot of tacky glue to the hole, and replace the stick.
Synonyms

Derivatives

tackiness

1
noun
Example sentences
  • The primer seals the floor, increases the tackiness of the floor and improves the adhesive qualities.
  • Depending on the tackiness of the glue you use, you may have to hold each of these stands on while the glue dries.

Words that rhyme with tacky

ackee, Bacchae, baccy, cracky, Jackie, lackey, wacky

Definition of tacky in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of tacky in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

tacky2

Line breaks: tacky
Pronunciation: /ˈtaki
 
/

adjective (tackier, tackiest)

informal
Showing poor taste and quality: even in her faintly tacky costumes, she won our hearts
More example sentences
  • Personally, I don't have a particular problem with people who insist on doing up their houses in all forms of cheap nasty tacky decorations.
  • Everything from Samuels's tacky costumes to his choice of entertainment is selected with one thought in mind: making sure his guests feel comfortable and relaxed.
  • However beautiful it was, I knew I'd never be able to wear anything like it short of a wedding dress or a tacky costume for a play, and I didn't even plan on getting married.
Synonyms

Origin

early 19th century: of unknown origin. Early use was as a noun denoting a horse of little value, later applied to a poor white in some Southern states of the US, hence 'shabby, cheap, in bad taste' (mid 19th century).

More
  • The origin of tacky in the sense ‘sticky’ is from the word tack (Middle English) ‘to fasten lightly’, or for an object that does that job. The origin of this word is obscure. The sense of tacky meaning ‘in poor taste, cheap’ is different, but equally obscure. It was first found at the beginning of the 19th century in the USA meaning a weedy horse. By the late 19th century it was applied to a poor white in some southern states, and had also acquired its modern sense. The shortening tack did not happen until the 1980s. The sense tack for horses equipment is a shortening of tackle.

Derivatives

tackily

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • The trick here is to capture the most gaudily and tackily dressed tourists on film.
  • Once inside, she lined up behind a tackily dressed woman.
  • It was small, tackily decorated, and questionably clean, but I hardly noticed.

tackiness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • I urge you all to grab a camera and go riding through the night, spying on your gaudy neighbors, as I will award a prize to the person who sends me the picture of the most horrible display of Christmas tackiness.
  • In some of the wealthier suburbs over there, they get in electrical contractors to do a professional lighting job on their houses and, unfortunately, tackiness often wins out over good taste.
  • It could be described as the ultimate in souvenir tackiness.

Definition of tacky in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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