Tawdry

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Tawdry'

Tawdry Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    tawdry adj
  1. tastelessly showy; "a flash car"; "a flashy ring"; "garish colors"; "a gaudy costume"; "loud sport shirts"; "a meretricious yet stylish book"; "tawdry ornaments" [syn: brassy, cheap, flash, flashy, garish, gaudy, gimcrack, loud, meretricious, tacky, tatty, trashy]
  2. cheap and shoddy; "cheapjack moviemaking...that feeds on the low taste of the mob"- Judith Crist [syn: cheapjack, shoddy] [also: tawdriest, tawdrier]
Tawdry Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Tawdry \Taw"dry\, a. [Compar. Tawdrier; superl. Tawdriest.] [Said to be corrupted from Saint Audrey, or Auldrey, meaning Saint Ethelreda, implying therefore, originally, bought at the fair of St. Audrey, where laces and gay toys of all sorts were sold. This fair was held in Isle Ely, and probably at other places, on the day of the saint, which was the 17th of October.]
  1. Bought at the festival of St. Audrey. [Obs.] And gird in your waist, For more fineness, with a tawdry lace. --Spenser.
  2. Very fine and showy in colors, without taste or elegance; having an excess of showy ornaments without grace; cheap and gaudy; as, a tawdry dress; tawdry feathers; tawdry colors.
Tawdry Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Tawdry \Taw"dry\, n.; pl. Tawdries. A necklace of a rural fashion, bought at St. Audrey's fair; hence, a necklace in general. [Obs.] Of which the Naiads and the blue Nereids make Them tawdries for their necks. --Drayton.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Tawdry'


Saint Etheldreda prays before the altar

Æthelthryth (or Æðelþryð) (c. 636 – June 23, 679) is the proper name for the popular Anglo-Saxon saint often known, particularly in a religious context, as Etheldreda or by the pet form of Audrey (or variations). She was an East Anglian princess, a Fenland queen and Abbess of Ely in the English county of Cambridgeshire.

Æthelthryth was probably born at Exning, near Newmarket in Suffolk. She was one of four daughters of King Anna of East Anglia (killed c.653), all of whom eventually retired from the world and founded abbeys.

Æthelthryth made an early first marriage (c. 652) to Tondberct, chief or prince of the South Gyrvians, or "fenmen" (gyr, Old English "fen") (d. 655). However, she managed to persuade her husband to respect her vow of perpetual virginity that she had made prior to their marriage. Upon his death in 655, Æthelthryth retired to the Isle of Ely, given to her as her morning gift by Tondberct.

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Tawdry Sample Sentences in News


  • Justin Theroux reveals a tawdry past peppered with mug shots
    Justin Theroux is a bad boy. Or so he'd have the world believe. Read more on this news related to 'Tawdry'
  • Progressive with Punch
    If Ohio’s senior senator were named Sharon Brown instead of Sherrod Brown, progressives would have a plausible political pin-up and a serious alternative to the tawdry boredom of Hillary Clinton’s... Read more on this news related to 'Tawdry'
  • 'Dating Naked' Premieres on TV
    A tawdry and titillating TV trend is underway. Seven, that's right, seven shows are being rolled out featuring one central theme: complete nudity. Read more on this news related to 'Tawdry'

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