Main definitions of tacky in English

: tacky1tacky2

tacky1

adjective

  • (of glue, paint, or other substances) retaining a slightly sticky feel; not fully dry.

    ‘the paint was still tacky’
    • ‘Apply tacky glue to the face and attach to the gourd.’
    • ‘It looked like it could have been held together with tacky glue and scotch tape.’
    • ‘If a fibre is mechanically extruded from a solution of (natural or artificial) silk protein just like pulling a thread from tacky glue, the fibre is still not as strong as real silk thread.’
    • ‘The authentic beaded doll had large gold neck rings, so we added strips of silver foil paper around the top and bottom of our cups with tacky craft glue to simulate precious metal.’
    • ‘For the last 20/30 minutes I had noticed that my hands and arms were feeling not quite sticky but tacky.’
    • ‘Remove each stick, add a dot of tacky glue to the hole, and replace the stick.’
    • ‘Rachel took up some newspaper and stuck it to the portions of the wallpaper that were tacky but not yet stuck to his person.’
    • ‘It puts out a real sticky, tacky substance and is designed to restrict the movement of somebody.’
    • ‘Slowly add the water by hand, kneading in between each addition until a soft, tacky dough forms.’
    • ‘This paint was tacky rather than wet, but it was clearly brand new.’
    • ‘The header on these sheer curtains disguises tacky wax, which holds each plate in place.’
    • ‘The tacky stuff takes some shifting and it's not cheap to do so.’
    • ‘One reason was that the surface states of the component materials were tacky.’
    • ‘The manufacturers of these rubber stocks have gone to a lot of trouble to produce a product that feels slightly tacky in the hand.’
    • ‘Practice sessions have seen several players complain of their feet getting stuck on a tacky surface.’
    • ‘The salt crystals were apparently pushed (or ‘pounded’) with a paint brush into the tacky surface.’
    • ‘Let the adhesive thicken and become tacky according to the manufacturer's instruction (usually 1 hour) before laying the files.’
    • ‘The bottom surface has a tacky rubber material across it, which gives the pad very effective grip on all surfaces I tried it with.’
    • ‘It seemed to me that ten ounces of plain flour with no baking powder added, mixed with a bare two ounces of lard but enough water to make the whole thing into a gooey, tacky mess was not guaranteed to result in appetizing mince pies.’
    • ‘Lips and mucous membranes need to be moist and not tacky or sticky to the touch.’
    sticky, wet, gluey, gummy, glutinous, adhesive, viscous, viscid, treacly, syrupy, runny, clinging, sticking
    gooey
    View synonyms

Pronunciation:

tacky

/ˈtakē/

Main definitions of tacky in English

: tacky1tacky2

tacky2

adjective

informal
  • Showing poor taste and quality.

    ‘even in her faintly tacky costumes, she won our hearts’
    • ‘Lisa got some construction paper because she likes crafts and Dana got some tacky costume jewellery because she likes to dress up and look pretty.’
    • ‘If it all sounds slightly tacky, outrageous, and shocking, that's exactly the point.’
    • ‘Which makes it all the more inexcusable that so many restaurants spend a fortune on furnishings then stick tacky art on their walls.’
    • ‘I will be out trolling the streets of Long Island, looking for the most tasteless, tacky decorations I can find.’
    • ‘Everything from Samuels's tacky costumes to his choice of entertainment is selected with one thought in mind: making sure his guests feel comfortable and relaxed.’
    • ‘The chairs were tacky metal with pinky-brown covering on the seat and the back, but very comfortable.’
    • ‘However beautiful it was, I knew I'd never be able to wear anything like it short of a wedding dress or a tacky costume for a play, and I didn't even plan on getting married.’
    • ‘Personally, I don't have a particular problem with people who insist on doing up their houses in all forms of cheap nasty tacky decorations.’
    • ‘It was cheap and tacky and everything I didn't want to have shown as being part of my special day.’
    • ‘It's been whitewashed and dressed up and sugarcoated for so long that now it's just a tacky piece of junk on a souvenir stand, painted in red, white, and blue.’
    • ‘You can use great stuff but if you put it into a tacky glass, the drink's integrity immediately goes down.’
    • ‘It adorns tacky gold cigarette lighters and sets of imitation pearl earrings found in inflight duty free catalogues.’
    • ‘There were three beds, one window with a little houseplant perched on the windowsill, and a set of slightly tacky drapes.’
    • ‘Even their fences were elegant, painted a cream colour that should have looked tacky.’
    • ‘And if the tacky drug metaphors sprinkled throughout this review annoyed you, avoid this record.’
    • ‘Less expected was the response of my cynical video-watching companions, who thought the film would be too tacky for their tastes.’
    • ‘He was middle-aged, with a prominent potbelly and tacky gold jewelry.’
    • ‘They were like bad actors from a tacky soap opera, and they irritated me.’
    • ‘Vinyl is only tacky when it masquerades as leather.’
    • ‘The set is wonderful, from the cheesy 70s-inspired table lamps, to the tacky neon lights shining through the blinds.’
    tawdry, tasteless, kitsch, vulgar, crude, garish, gaudy, showy, loud, trashy, cheap, cheap and nasty, nasty, common, second-rate, brummagem
    flash, flashy, tatty, naff
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Origin

Early 19th century: of unknown origin. Early use was as a noun denoting a horse of little value, later applied to a poor white in some southern states, hence shabby, cheap, in bad taste (mid 19th century).

Pronunciation:

tacky

/ˈtakē/