Things that are tacky are cheap, flashy, garish, gaudy, loud, tawdry, or trashy. Tacky clothes are a fashion nightmare, and tacky comments are embarrassing for everyone involved.

If you wore a bright orange suit to school, with a neon green hat, you’d be dressing in a tacky way. Tacky clothes are usually inexpensive yet flashy and showy — obnoxious. When people make tasteless, trashy comments, it’s also considered tacky. But if you’re in art class and someone says that your paper-mâché project is tacky, don’t get mad — they probably just mean that it’s not dry yet and still sticky to the touch.

Definitions of tacky
  1. adjective

    tastelessly showy

    brassy, cheap, flash, flashy, garish, gaudy, gimcrack, loud, meretricious, tatty, tawdry, trashy


    lacking aesthetic or social taste
  2. adjective

    (of a glutinous liquid such as paint) not completely dried and slightly sticky to the touch

    tacky varnish”


    covered or soaked with a liquid such as water

Word Family