Definition of cliché in US English:

cliché

(also cliche)

noun

  • 1A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.

    ‘the old cliché “one man's meat is another man's poison.”’
    • ‘You have written a cliche, a worn-out metaphor.’
    • ‘It is one of a torrent of jargon words, phrases, clichés and bureaucratic gobbledygook that have grown to clutter our language.’
    • ‘I needed more than just overused cliches to pick up my sprits by then.’
    • ‘Surely, you've heard the old cliche that the way to a guy's heart is through his stomach.’
    • ‘The clichés about lack of funds will not take us anywhere as we are likely to lose even the little we have if we fail as a country to contend with fires.’
    • ‘The old cliches come out here, but this is a big mountain for us, and we acknowledge that.’
    • ‘Although a cliche, the phrase reflects the chaos and frustration of relocation.’
    • ‘Never has the old cliche - location, location, location - been more true.’
    • ‘For the same reason that reality television is popular, reality literature sells well, regardless of whether it is clotted with clichés and occasionally clumsily phrased.’
    • ‘But a pub in Brigg is saying ‘humbug’ to the old cliche - and hosting an early festive season in the middle of August.’
    • ‘It's the old cliche that you don't think anything like that will ever happen to you - but it did.’
    • ‘OK, well, that's a worn-out cliche that many people use about putting the victim on trial.’
    • ‘It means that the old cliche about history repeating itself until its lessons are learned should be taken seriously.’
    • ‘In the same way that an overused phrase inevitably becomes a cliche, a recurring joke sooner or later loses impact.’
    • ‘The phrase, almost a cliche in the cult of American hip-hop music, whips the crowd listening to Malaysian rap duo Too Phat into a frenzy.’
    • ‘Barnes accurately captures the cliches, lack of punctuation, and poor syntax that reveal his derivative mind.’
    • ‘And like Lewis, she serves the useful purpose of noting that myths and legends and plain old garden variety cliches are all derived from some intrinsic truth.’
    • ‘That's a better way to keep the old cliche from turning into a phrase like ‘jumbo shrimp’ - a contradiction in terms.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The old cliche, ‘a game of two halves,’ describes this one between Bury and strugglers Blackpool perfectly.’
    platitude, hackneyed phrase, commonplace, banality, truism, trite phrase, banal phrase, overworked phrase, stock phrase, bromide
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A very predictable or unoriginal thing or person.
      ‘each building is a mishmash of tired clichés’
      • ‘LXG does not rise above the mediocre, diving headfirst into tired clichés and boring stunt work, made more annoying by the brutal dialogue.’
      • ‘The characters may not have been your prototypical horror clichés, but they lacked charisma, even for British characters.’
      • ‘The armed and angry schoolboys exacted their vengeance upon my American cliché inside a normal suburban high school.’
      • ‘I have come to the conclusion that he is a tired cliché in search of a point.’
      • ‘Anna stopped laughing abruptly but she really couldn't hold back a little smile at the batch of clichés she'd just walked into.’
      • ‘At a time when the car chase has become a tired cliché, the one here pulls out all the stops and is, believe it or not, visually exciting.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Just my luck, I was being stalked by a tired cliché.’
      • ‘She finds this supremely ironic and thinks that her obsession with language is probably a way to escape the fact that she herself is a tired cliché.’
      • ‘Ryden groaned, why did he suddenly feel like one giant, walking cliché?’
      • ‘Hunter's work may refer to the classics but it's far from the platitudes and cliches of your average public monument.’
      • ‘While a movie like The Scorpion King has mythic pretensions, it merely parades lifeless mythic cliches that lack the timeless gravity of moral tales.’
      • ‘Tedious and predictable, it employs obvious situations and clichés instead of genuine suspense-building elements.’
      • ‘There are situations in life that by their innate predictability become clichés.’
      • ‘McGuigan opts for a fairly intrusive style, splitting the screen in half at key moments, panning around in 360-degree shots and over-using the old cliche of slow motion.’
  • 2British Printing
    A stereotype or electrotype.

    • ‘Yes, modern woman is here in all her many stereotypes, although who is to say that cliches may not sometimes be true.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

cliché

/kliˈʃeɪ//klēˈSHā/