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tawdry
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  • These women wore stoles of fur or feathers; their dresses were tawdry colors—reds and oranges and yellows.
    Margaret Peterson Haddix  --  Uprising
  • In his last breaths, was he trying to tell me about the death of his adopted family—or admit to some tawdry, decades-long affair?
    Ransom Riggs  --  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • She was pale and pock-faced and dressed in the tawdry, over-shiny garb of a woman who had obviously once been in the trade.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  • Facing Nero, I remembered all the tawdry details of his rule—the extravagance and cruelty that had made him so embarrassing to me, his forefather.
    Rick Riordan  --  The Trials of Apollo

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  • Whether you found it dashing or tawdry, at least it had been a romance, complete with intrigue and scandal and a wrenching separation.
    Anne Tayler  --  A Spool of Blue Thread
  • An artist is a tawdry, lazy sort of thing to be, as most people in this country will tell you.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Cat’s Eye
  • Everything seemed strange, so tawdry and grotesque.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • It had that woebegone, forsaken, tawdry appearance, which reminds one so much of a ball-dress, the morning after.
    Baroness Orczy  --  The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • The molting pink feathers are tawdry as carnival dolls and some of the starry sequins have come off.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid’s Tale
  • He was sure that he could do something better than his friend had ever done, or could ever do, something higher than mere tawdry journalism if he only got the chance.
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners

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  • Billy left his room, went down the slow elevator, walked over to Times Square, looked into the window of a tawdry bookstore.
    Kurt Vonnegut  --  Slaughterhouse-Five
  • A part of Dick’s mind was made up of the tawdry souvenirs of his boyhood.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • Her expression was a little strange when she took the tawdry, shabby box into her big hands.
    William Faulkner  --  Light in August
  • People felt tawdry in the Justice Room when the old soldier had left it, and many eyed the red whips sideways, with a secret dread.
    T. H. White  --  The Once and Future King
  • And there it was, on a shabby bed in a tawdry, ill-lighted bedroom, surrounded by a crowd of ignorant and excited people, broken and wounded, betrayed and unpitied, that Griffin, the first of all men to make himself invisible, Griffin, the most gifted physicist the world has ever seen, ended in infinite disaster his strange and terrible career.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • He remembered with bitterness that scene of tawdry tribute.
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • Her new cerise dress has been a failure, and makes her look tawdry and wan.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View
  • It was a tawdry affair, all Cupids and cornucopias, like a third-rate wedding cake.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Saw her walk to the town, along the narrow lane which ran past the tannery, following it to where it broadened with beedi shops along one side and tawdry stalls on the other, where men with bold eyes lounged smoking or drinking from frothing toddy pots.
    Kamala Markandaya  --  Nectar in a Sieve
  • Come, you promised me a tawdry lace, and a pair of sweet gloves.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Winter’s Tale
  • The last scene of her dismal Vanity Fair comedy was fast approaching; the tawdry lamps were going out one by one; and the dark curtain was almost ready to descend.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • His habit, made of calico, was dirty, greasy, and very proper for a Mersy Andrew or Scaramouch, with all its tawdry trappings, as hanging sleeves, tassels, &c. though torn and rent in almost every part; his vest underneath it was no less dirty, but more greatly; resembling the most exquisite sloven or greasy butcher; his horse (worse than Rosinante, or the famous steed of doughty Hudibras) was a poor starved decrepid thing, that would not sell for thirty shillings in England; and yet…
    Daniel Defoe  --  Robinson Crusoe
  • It is redolent of the tawdry decadence of a far-flung but key imperial frontier.
    Wole Soyinka  --  Death and the King’s Horseman
  • It’s tawdry, of course.
    Libba Bray  --  A Great and Terrible Beauty
  • In the cold slant of light reflected from the back wall of a neighbouring building, she saw her evening dress and opera cloak lying in a tawdry heap on a chair.
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • Keats itself is a mixture of tawdry, false classicism and mindless, boomtown energy.
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • She pitied herself that her romance should be pitiful; she sighed that in this colorless hour, to this austere self, it should seem tawdry.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
  • The two sisters stooped, broad, lethargic; stooping, they presented an incredible expanse of pale cloth and a flutter of tawdry ribbons.
    William Faulkner  --  Barn Burning
  • I learned about their tawdry dreams, their simple hopes, their home lives, their fear of feeling anything deeply, their sex problems, their husbands.
    Richard Wright  --  Black Boy
  • The two girls, neither much over twenty, are typical dollar street walkers, dressed in the usual tawdry get-up.
    Eugene O’Neill  --  The Iceman Cometh
  • …so badly; if he was dead, how cold he feel so unbearably, didn’t pain cease with death, didn’t it go… The night wet and windy, two children dressed as pumpkins waddling across the square and the shop windows covered in paper spiders, all the tawdry Muggle trappings of a world in which they did not believe… And he was gliding along, that sense of purpose and power and rightness in him that he always knew on these occasions… Not anger… that was for weaker souls than he… but triumph, yes……
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • His arms, outstretched, held out before him a little image of the Blessed Virgin—a tawdry, scarlet and Prussian blue affair that the girl had given him on her first return from the convent.
    Ford Madox Ford  --  The Good Soldier
  • Carter’s sleight of narrative challenges our expectations and keeps us on our feet, but it also takes what could seem merely a tawdry incident and reminds us, throughits Shakespearean parallels, that there is nothing new in young men mistreating the women who love them, and that those without power in relationships have always had to be creative in finding ways to exert some control of their own.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • It was all paternalism, my insatiable desire to be the benevolent tyrant dispensing tawdry gifts and moldy foodstuffs to the subjects who stumbled into the spiritual famine of my sad kingdom.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • It was the usual collection of small oddments: bits of cloth, quack medicines, cheap fairings, a clothful of atta—greyish, rough-ground native flour—twists of down-country tobacco, tawdry pipe-stems, and a packet of curry-stuff, all wrapped in a quilt.
    Rudyard Kipling  --  Kim
  • It’s too theatrical, too tawdry, thinks Simon; it reeks of the small-town lecture halls of fifteen years ago, with their audiences of credulous store clerks and laconic farmers, and their drab wives, and the smooth-talking charlatans who used to dole out transcendental nonsense and quack medical advice to them as an excuse for picking their pockets.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • There was nothing left for her in France but the ignominy of a tawdry grave.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • thing hilariously tawdry about the entire scene.
    Neal Stephenson  --  Snow Crash
  • Now the lights and the rides and the cotton-candy stand looked so garish, so tawdry.
    Jill McCorkle  --  Ferris Beach
  • Beside such treasures the gloves looked cheap and tawdry.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Dance With Dragons
  • Dear Lord … The smee was still telling tawdry tales when Max reined their horse to a halt.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Maelstrom
  • "Your tawdry effort in The Daily World," he says scathingly.
    Sophie Kinsella  --  Confessoins of a Shopaholic
  • Life had become cheap and tawdry, a beastly and inarticulate thing, a soulless stirring of the ooze and slime.
    Jack London  --  Sea Wolf
  • We didn’t amount to much to start with, and due to our own tawdry efforts we had been slipping ever since.
    John Steinbeck  --  Travels with Charley
  • Pick the courses shrewdly and work quickly and the most tawdry academic record could be renovated in a single summer.
    Michael Lewis  --  The Blind Side
  • I wanted the world to be what they had promised me it was going to be—instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • White Castle, the nation’s first hamburger chain, worked hard in the 1920s to dispel the hamburger’s tawdry image.
    Eric Schlosser  --  Fast Food Nation
  • I have no desire to hear the tawdry details of what went on last night, or hear how awful I was for not accepting Dawson in the first place.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Best of Me
  • Without the dark, without the bright glow of colored lights, the carnival looked too much like what it was…a little weary, more than a little tawdry.
    Nora Roberts  --  Summer Pleasures
  • Comments like the one to which I refer would have seemed something fit for one of the tawdry novels I read, not for a serious comment from my husband.
    Stephen King  --  Rose Red
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