Definition of kitsch in English:

kitsch

noun

  • [mass noun] Art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.

    ‘the lava lamp is a bizarre example of sixties kitsch’
    • ‘The good news for lovers of overwrought kitsch is that the second series promises to live up, or down, to expectations.’
    • ‘The decor was simple Balkan style: classy but rustic, without the element of kitsch.’
    • ‘Roy is keen to exploit the current vogue for things kitsch, promising glamorous, Seventies costumes.’
    • ‘I don't think of our show in terms of music theatre, because it's original, fairly serious and it isn't kitsch or camp.’
    • ‘You don't have to be a fan of anime to enjoy the music - but it would be better if you're a fan of kitsch.’
    • ‘London's victory was announced only after a presentation ceremony that scaled new heights of kitsch.’
    • ‘It treads a delicate line between tasteful extravagance and over-the-top kitsch.’
    • ‘Hopkins's watercolors may sometimes come a little too close to kitsch for comfort.’
    • ‘Why is it that with so much talent out there, you guys jump behind something that's only good for its kitsch value?’
    • ‘They ask, quite reasonably, how can you tell the difference between kitsch and tacky?’
    • ‘Lloyd Webber is devoted to Victorian art and cannot resist kitsch so long as it is Victorian kitsch.’
    • ‘It may be hidden inside a casino but it's a world away from the glitz, chrome and kitsch of the rest of the city.’
    • ‘This New York circus duo have been a hit off-Broadway with their brand of vaudeville, kitsch and bad behaviour.’
    • ‘Their obsessions were B-movies and beat music; kitsch sci-fi and kitchen-sink romance.’
    • ‘The sentiment behind this memorial may be admirable, but the result is pure kitsch.’
    • ‘The cover photographs for Eternal Youth show images that ought to be kitsch, or camp, but aren't.’
    • ‘There's only one thing that's worse than kitsch and that's fashionably ironic kitsch.’
    • ‘Call it kitsch if you like, but this karaoke scene offers something which is sadly lacking from much of the contemporary social scene.’
    • ‘Whether you consider this too cool for words or the height of kitsch is up to you.’
    • ‘Those who love kitsch and enjoy the unreality of stage musicals will adore the colours, because they're fully in bloom.’
    poor-quality, second-rate, third-rate, substandard, low-grade, inferior, common, vulgar, shoddy, trashy, rubbishy, tawdry, tinny, brassy, worthless, meretricious, cheap and nasty, cheapjack, gimcrack, brummagem, pinchbeck
    View synonyms

adjective

  • Considered to be in poor taste but appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.

    ‘the front room is stuffed with kitsch knick-knacks, little glass and gilt ornaments’
    ‘she offers kitsch interpretations of classic British dress, including a range of tartan mini-kilts’
    • ‘He considered his work neither ironic nor kitsch, being convinced of its artistic seriousness.’
    • ‘The cover photographs for Eternal Youth show images that ought to be kitsch, or camp, but aren't.’
    • ‘The sets look wonderfully kitsch - I especially like those pictures of pussycats in the background.’
    • ‘There is a museum inside with wonderfully kitsch bull-fighting memorabilia.’
    • ‘The fact that the restaurant rotated was too kitsch for me to say no.’
    • ‘Similarly, the theatricality that once branded some realist paintings as kitsch no longer seems a necessarily negative attribute.’
    • ‘The current '80s crop of cartoon favorites, sitcom has-beens, embarrassing pop relics, and fashion offenses takes what was essentially kitsch to begin with and parodies it.’
    • ‘This not only paved the way for pop outfits such as Steps to release covers, it assured even pointy-headed music-lovers that it was alright to be kitsch again.’
    • ‘Although Wainwright's aesthetic is opulent, it is never kitsch.’
    • ‘No hint of eighteenth-century neo-Palladian swagger or its kitsch modern imitations.’
    • ‘Its church was typically kitsch but we relished the tranquility.’
    • ‘She's very kitsch, but people don't realise that she had an incredible voice.’
    • ‘Few colonial constructions survive, and many contemporary buildings would elsewhere be considered kitsch.’
    • ‘Word has it the mullet is so kitsch, it's fashionable again.’
    • ‘Set in a beautifully kitsch New York, The Royal Tenenbaums tells the story of a most unusual family reunion.’
    • ‘Palm Springs is dotted with low-key museums and mini theme parks, but none are quite tacky enough to qualify as amusingly kitsch Americana nor high-tech enough to provide state-of-the-art thrills.’
    • ‘After a late dinner, we watched this wonderfully kitsch movie on my newly acquired 'Asian' channel.’
    • ‘What a great stroll down memory lane and THAT cardigan that Starsky wore … that's so kitsch that it will never, ever come back in style!’
    • ‘Camp brown interior complete with crystal chandeliers and disco lighting, Diep is more kitsch than classy but always packed with creative young barhoppers.’
    • ‘A lot of old advertising - still or moving - just looks clunky or kitsch as the years roll by.’

Origin

1920s: German.

Pronunciation:

kitsch

/kɪtʃ/