Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Sense: 1-2
Date: 1800-1900
Origin: tacky 'horse in poor condition' (1800-1900).
Sense: 3
Date: 1700-1800
Origin: TACK1


1 if something is tacky, it looks cheap or badly made, and shows poor taste:
tacky ornaments
2 especially American English showing that you do not have good judgment about what is socially acceptable:
It's kind of tacky to give her a present that someone else gave you.
3 slightly sticky:
The paint's still slightly tacky.
tackily adverb
tackiness noun [uncountable]

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary