Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A decorative trinket; a bauble.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A showy trifle; a pretty thing of little worth; a toy; a bauble; a gaudy plaything or ornament.
  • noun A pipe or flute.
  • noun A Jew′ s-harp.
  • Showy, without substantial use or worth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A showy trifle; a toy; a splendid plaything; a pretty but worthless bauble.
  • adjective Showy; unreal; pretentious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Showy; unreal; pretentious.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun cheap showy jewelry or ornament on clothing

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English giuegaue.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From earlier gugaw, gygaw, from Middle English givegove ("gewgaw, trifle"), a reduplication of Middle English give, geove ("gift"), from Old English giefu, geofu, geafu ("gift"), from Proto-Germanic *gebō (“gift”). Compare Icelandic gyligjöf ("showy gifts, gewgaw"). More at give.

Examples

  • For profit -- his life blood transmuted into a wine-supper, or a jewelled gewgaw, or some similar sense-orgy of the parasitic and idle rich, his masters, the arch-beasts. '

    Chapter 6: Adumbrations

  • I had no problems w/the scent/aroma of da Quarter (aside from Bourbon St. which I generally avoid when in town - tho 'Yesteryear's always has some gewgaw I must possess).

    Your Right Hand Thief

  • Yet, if they won, they would be buying both the gewgaw and a print-out of the story.

    For sale: the ashtray that inspired William Gibson

  • Grab the first gewgaw and just do it, quick, like ripping off a Band-Aid.

    Dean Sluyter: Your Junk Drawer vs. Nirvana

  • Sadly, the book prizes are restricted to residents of the British isles, but as a compensation a further 3 correct entries from outwith these sceptered isles will receive a nifty wee promotional-type gewgaw currently to be decided upon.

    Seeds Of Earth Competition! – Updated « INTERSTELLAR TACTICS

  • That just seems common sense at this point: that ‘brand’ is about all the touchpoints with your customers and partners, not just your logo, and not just the latest RIA gewgaw on your homepage.

    inkblurt · Systems & Ecosystems: Object Oriented Design

  • Hunting through the yard sales, second hand shops, and antique malls for a gewgaw is delightful challenge.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • Mathayus plans to journey to Egypt to get a mystical weapon to help him defeat the evil Sargon, but quickly learns that he must get a different magic gewgaw, the sword of Damocles, in order to kill his foe.

    DVD Review: Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior (Blu-ray)

  • Alas, I cannot find it in my eleemosynary nature to weep a solitary tear for this haut bourgeois pretender and his gewgaw-bearing mate.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • Alas, I cannot find it in my eleemosynary nature to weep a solitary tear for this haut bourgeois pretender and his gewgaw-bearing mate.

    Black day in July

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • what does this mean?

    March 23, 2007

  • It means, well, me. In a nutshell.

    (You may also find the dictionary link above to be helpful. But like I said, it means me.)

    March 23, 2007

  • antonym: Le Corbusier

    May 2, 2007

  • "His father had inspired him with a horror of jewellery; for once, when he had spent the savings of a month upon a cheap scarf-pin, the elder Armstrong had wrathfully asked him what he meant by sticking that brass-headed nail in his chest, and had thrown the gewgaw into the fire."

    May 2, 2016