Definition of bling in English:


(also bling-bling)


  • [mass noun] Expensive, ostentatious clothing and jewellery:

    ‘look at the bling he's already wearing on his left arm’
    • ‘There are no sharp suits, palatial estates or sports cars; young punks are wearing the same shirt for several days rather than flashing bling.’
    • ‘The plaques recording connections with famous residents are usually blue but this one was gilded to reflect the star's love of bling.’
    • ‘All in all, I had hoped for a few costume changes and a bit more out and out 'bling'.’
    • ‘Keep it simple - keep any bling bling to a minimum.’
    • ‘A word about the costumes, though; far too much bling.’
    • ‘What on earth is wrong with a bit of bling bling?’
    • ‘The wearing of bling-bling is both a fashion statement and a display of power.’
    • ‘If a press release for this album exists, I'm willing to bet that it rails against "bling."’
    • ‘He wore a sleek black suit, black shirt and black tie and had his share of bling - a diamond watch, a shiny black bracelet and diamond and gold earrings in both earlobes.’
    • ‘The four lads who bought bling into the world of the British boy band are parting ways.’
    • ‘I'm into jewellery, but I'm not into bling.’
    • ‘He was wearing what they call in the trade "a lot of bling".’
    • ‘In sum, he wears more bling than most movie stars on Oscar night.’
    • ‘With rock music chasing its own tail, and hip-hop disappearing under a mountain of bling, where do we turn for meaningful popular music?’
    • ‘All "they" want is old money, white tie bling - champagne, caviar, and chauffeured limousines.’
    • ‘So hot here right now - all I'm wearing is my bling - chilling with a beer - respect!’
    • ‘His penchant for fast cars, castles, horses, jets, yachts, game lodges and bling is well chronicled.’
    • ‘It's clear that she doesn't understand that she can't take her bling with her to prison.’
    • ‘In the era of bling you just need the right attitude, the right style and plenty of front!’
    • ‘In a world where, for many young people, it's all about the 'bling', my advice to young folks is to work hard and be willing to do the grunt work.’


  • Denoting expensive, ostentatious clothing or jewellery, or the style or materialistic attitudes associated with them:

    ‘the bling lifestyle of diamond rings, flashy cars, and champagne’
    • ‘The collection looked very bling and borders on tacky.’
    • ‘That black fedora really suits her, but it doesn't mix well with the hippie necklaces and bling watch.’
    • ‘Its Christmas party dresses were too bling for my liking, while its Christmas ad campaign, veered into naff territory.’
    • ‘The social pressure to show off wealth is always hovering over an athlete, he said, recalling teammates regularly reading luxury magazines about yachts and fancy watches to keep up "the bling factor."’
    • ‘I'm looking for a feminine watch - not leather, not too chunky and not too bling.’
    • ‘There was never anything flashy and bling about him.’
    • ‘Her jeans are tight and designer, showcasing long, ultra-slim legs, but they're not what I expected from a woman whose "bling" taste in clothes has been relentlessly charted by the media.’
    • ‘Minorities don't buy high-status products because of some 'bling culture.'’
    • ‘The president's aggressively right-wing political and financial agenda - and his bling-bling lifestyle - has proved a godsend for comedians.’
    • ‘Jackets and pullovers highlighted with golden embroidery and patchwork in yellow gold brought out the bling element.’
    • ‘Behind the bling wedding ring, perfectly coiffed ready-for-TV hair and confident stride, lies a woman who has to work just as hard at her marriage as the girl next door.’


1990s: perhaps imitative of light reflecting off jewellery, or of jewellery clashing together.