Definition of cliché in 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.”’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Never has the old cliche - location, location, location - been more true.’
    • ‘It is one of a torrent of jargon words, phrases, clichés and bureaucratic gobbledygook that have grown to clutter our language.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Surely, you've heard the old cliche that the way to a guy's heart is through his stomach.’
    • ‘I needed more than just overused cliches to pick up my sprits by then.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘OK, well, that's a worn-out cliche that many people use about putting the victim on trial.’
    • ‘The old cliche, ‘a game of two halves,’ describes this one between Bury and strugglers Blackpool perfectly.’
    • ‘Barnes accurately captures the cliches, lack of punctuation, and poor syntax that reveal his derivative mind.’
    • ‘That's a better way to keep the old cliche from turning into a phrase like ‘jumbo shrimp’ - a contradiction in terms.’
    • ‘The old cliches come out here, but this is a big mountain for us, and we acknowledge that.’
    • ‘It means that the old cliche about history repeating itself until its lessons are learned should be taken seriously.’
    • ‘Although a cliche, the phrase reflects the chaos and frustration of relocation.’
    • ‘You have written a cliche, a worn-out metaphor.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    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’
      • ‘I have come to the conclusion that he is a tired cliché in search of a point.’
      • ‘The armed and angry schoolboys exacted their vengeance upon my American cliché inside a normal suburban high school.’
      • ‘But Bloodwork is all tired clichés and half-baked serial killers and generic shots of Clint standing in rooms or on his boat.’
      • ‘Anna stopped laughing abruptly but she really couldn't hold back a little smile at the batch of clichés she'd just walked into.’
      • ‘Just my luck, I was being stalked by a tired cliché.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While a movie like The Scorpion King has mythic pretensions, it merely parades lifeless mythic cliches that lack the timeless gravity of moral tales.’
      • ‘Ryden groaned, why did he suddenly feel like one giant, walking 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.’
      • ‘Hunter's work may refer to the classics but it's far from the platitudes and cliches of your average public monument.’
      • ‘LXG does not rise above the mediocre, diving headfirst into tired clichés and boring stunt work, made more annoying by the brutal dialogue.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Tedious and predictable, it employs obvious situations and clichés instead of genuine suspense-building elements.’
      • ‘Even now, when castaways and sunken ships are tired Hollywood clichés, the Life of Pi is refreshingly original.’
      • ‘There are situations in life that by their innate predictability become clichés.’
      • ‘The characters may not have been your prototypical horror clichés, but they lacked charisma, even for British characters.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘I applaud the author for avoiding the first time novelist's trap of resorting to cliches and stereotyping.’
    • ‘Both genres, so formulaic, overdetermined by clichés and stereotypes, are eminently accessible for parody.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

cliché

/klēˈSHā//kliˈʃeɪ/