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used in a sentence
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Definition tastelessly showy;
or: cheap and shoddy
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • If she had so little moral character that she could ignore an upright man like me for the tawdry glitter of New York, she wasn't worth thinking about.
    Russell Baker  --  Growing Up
  • Now the lights and the rides and the cotton-candy stand looked so garish, so tawdry.
    Jill McCorkle  --  Ferris Beach
  • The molting pink feathers are tawdry as carnival dolls and some of the starry sequins have come off.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid's Tale
  • 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
  • "Your tawdry effort in The Daily World," he says scathingly.
    Sophie Kinsella  --  Confessoins of a Shopaholic
  • 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 Hidden Oracle
  • He remembered with bitterness that scene of tawdry tribute.
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • 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
  • 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
  • Her new cerise dress has been a failure, and makes her look tawdry and wan.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View
  • 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
  • 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
  • A part of Dick's mind was made up of the tawdry souvenirs of his boyhood.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • 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
  • Come, you promised me a tawdry lace, and a pair of sweet gloves.
    William Shakespeare  --  The Winter's Tale
  • It is redolent of the tawdry decadence of a far-flung but key imperial frontier.
    Wole Soyinka  --  Death and the King's Horseman
  • 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

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