Definition of hokey in US English:

hokey

adjective

North American
informal
  • 1Mawkishly sentimental.

    ‘a good-hearted, slightly hokey song’
    • ‘It's definitely not hokey or unsuitably romantic or otherwise tacky or out of date.’
    • ‘Barlow also prefers writing songs about issues that currently plague the world, rather than hokey love songs.’
    • ‘The fact that Mitch had gone up to the stage and sang some hokey karaoke song love song, his eyes glimpsing again and again at Jess, had only egged Lynn on.’
    • ‘Most often this group is targeted with a single approach, a somewhat corny or hokey jingle and stock message.’
    • ‘This might seem hokey, but a love letter laced with concern can be quite effective.’
    • ‘Would it be too hokey to say that I'm only hungry for you?’
    • ‘It's a little hokey, but the approach is sensible and sound.’
    • ‘It may sound hokey, but the mental shift worked.’
    • ‘It might sound hokey, but drawing has been really helpful for me - not only for dealing with emotions but in helping me get back into my artwork again.’
    • ‘It should have sounded hokey, a sentiment like that, but from him, it even seemed slightly impressive.’
    • ‘It's odd in a hokey nostalgic way I just can't describe.’
    • ‘That saying about laughter being the best medicine is hokey but true, especially for shaking the blues.’
    • ‘For the most part Daniela is not hokey or cheesy, as many performers who dip into these waters can be.’
    • ‘I just think everyone associates with Christmas, in terms of coming together, in terms of - you know, to be really hokey, in terms of love and goodwill.’
    • ‘It's cheesy, hokey, melodramatic and superficial.’
    • ‘Well sure it's a bit corny, and even frequently hokey, but it's fun, too.’
    • ‘It's difficult to describe the plot of film without making it sound hokey and mawkish.’
    • ‘This is exactly the hokey kinda song that only Lee can get away with.’
    • ‘But that's what friends are for, corny and hokey as that sounds.’
    • ‘A little hokey, but those kids will remember it for the rest of their lives.’
    mawkish, over-sentimental, overemotional, cloying, sickly, saccharine, sugary, sugar-coated, syrupy
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    1. 1.1 Noticeably contrived.
      ‘a hokey country-western accent’
      • ‘You know that the contributions were seminal and shaped the future in the genre, but everything is dated, implausibly created and hokey in comparison to modern examples of the genre.’
      • ‘If you can get past the occasionally hokey dialogue, these stories are wonderfully charming, compelling reads, and fantastic value for money.’
      • ‘These films are very hokey, more so than normal horror films, very easily parodied, and at least one of the stories tends to verge on comedy.’
      • ‘Few things are harder to create convincingly than an album of rhyming spoken word - it's hard not to sound pretentious, derivative or hokey.’
      • ‘He does well connecting with a scene, but often comes across as melodramatic and hokey in this silly musical.’
      • ‘Some of the scenes are excessively hokey, like the oversized LED-enhanced belt buckles that allow the aliens to create neural fields, or something like that, that temporarily paralyze the humans.’
      • ‘Personally, I didn't even like the first one, too much hokey action and not enough philosophy, but the second was better in both regards.’
      • ‘On the other hand, this is all hokey second rate filmmaking.’
      • ‘The audience is on the edge of its seat - or, would be, if the whole movie's premise weren't so damn hokey to begin with.’
      • ‘I just find the whole story too hokey.’
      • ‘If only the plot didn't sound so hokey.’
      • ‘It starts off pretty solid - despite the hokey gypsy Tarot card lady in the beginning - and pretty chilling, but after the first act is over, watch out.’
      • ‘If only the director could come to terms with the fact that his dramatic tendencies are hokey and unoriginal.’
      • ‘He recited the words and managed to keep it from sounding hokey or stilted, and the rest of his speech was genuinely inspiring, not just the usual catch-phrases.’
      • ‘Take note: children in songs is generally hokey and trite but here, it's dialogue from the film, so it's totally ok.’
      • ‘Without being hokey or melodramatic, there is a message of hope in the album… it's positive.’
      • ‘He dresses his piece up with a whole lot of hokey nonsense - it's nearly 1600 words where 200 would have done.’
      • ‘Some of the backgrounds appear grainier than the rest of the picture, and sometimes the special effects look a little hokey.’
      • ‘Although the hokey use of literary criticism gets tiring really quick, the often prescient comments about friction between contemporary world cultures and its future direction is what makes some interesting reading.’
      • ‘Could this hopelessly dated, hokey, predictable bit of nonsense with dime store special effects possibly be the series that once scared me so much I insisted all the living room lights be on when we watched?’
      forced, strained, studied, artificial, affected, put-on, pretended, false, feigned, manufactured, unnatural
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Origin

1940s: from hokum + -y.

Pronunciation

hokey

/ˈhoʊki//ˈhōkē/