• WordNet 3.6
    • adj tacky tastelessly showy "a flash car","a flashy ring","garish colors","a gaudy costume","loud sport shirts","a meretricious yet stylish book","tawdry ornaments"
    • adj tacky (of a glutinous liquid such as paint) not completely dried and slightly sticky to the touch "tacky varnish"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Tacky An ill-conditioned, ill-fed, or neglected horse; also, a person in a like condition.
    • Tacky Dowdy, shabby, or neglected in appearance; unkempt.
    • Tacky In poor taste; appearing cheap; gaudy; unstylish. Broadly used to describe objects whose style is disapproved of by the speaker.
    • a Tacky Sticky; adhesive; raw; -- said of paint, varnish, etc., when not well dried.
    • Tacky Tactless; in poor taste; -- used to describe behavior.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • tacky Unkempt; rough; shabby; ill-fed: said of persons or animals.
    • tacky Bad; poor; miserable.
    • tacky Adhesive; sticky; tenacious: noting viscous substances or surfaces. Also tackey.
    • n tacky An ill-fed or neglected horse; a rough, bony nag: sometimes used also of persons in the like condition. Also tackey and ticky.
    • n tacky A long and stout branch of mimosa with the thorns left on at the end.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Tacky adhesive, viscous
    • n Tacky tak′i (U.S.) a poor ill-conditioned horse.
    • ***


  • Bette Midler
    Bette Midler
    “I wouldn't say I invented tacky, but I definitely brought it to its present high popularity.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. Techy Tack a spot


In literature:

Madison, my first town, showed me that my clothes were homemade and tacky.
"The Log-Cabin Lady, An Anonymous Autobiography" by Unknown
As we approached the tacky little swaybacked ranch-house, he opened his eyes.
"Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" by Cory Doctorow
When the size is tacky, or nearly dry, gold powder or gold leaf is applied.
"French Polishing and Enamelling" by Richard Bitmead
Your clothes are getting pretty tacky, too, and you're getting all burned with those hot coals and things.
"Spacehounds of IPC" by Edward Elmer Smith
Can you get those tacky fiber ends in any other way?
"The Professional Approach" by Charles Leonard Harness
When the glaire has ceased to be "tacky," the gold is laid on.
"Bookbinding, and the Care of Books" by Douglas Cockerell
For softening purposes a very small quantity of gum thrus may be used, too much will result in tackiness.
"The Repairing & Restoration of Violins" by Horace Petherick
In Virginia, North and South Carolina he is known as "Poor Bocra," "Poor Tackie.
"Hanover; Or The Persecution of the Lowly" by David Bryant Fulton
The draft animals are usually small oxen or ponies, called "salt marsh tackies," as they are left to pick their living from the marshes.
"The Negro Farmer" by Carl Kelsey
I reckon maybe you ain't used to seein' piny-woods Tackies.
"Free Joe and Other Georgian Sketches" by Joel Chandler Harris

In news:

Would it be tacky to ask her to be a bridesmaid so late in the game.
The Mockingbird store is celebrating with a special holiday lights route and providing free food and drink, in addition to contests for best tacky sweater and craziest holiday schwag.
Collections, if unorganized, might appear tacky or cluttered.
There's tacky and then there is just plain wrong.
A tacky ad enflames Indonesian pride.
"Not everyone likes our xmas cracker jokes so tell us your tacky kiwi jokes & we'll add our favourites into the cracker.".
Proud Larry's hosts A Tacky Townie Christmas.
Las Vegas tacky during the holidays.
Any ideas for adding a little tackiness to a slippery Irish linen wrap.
Is it tacky to ask for cash at my wedding.
Tacky glue or hot glue.
Bust out that ugly-as-sin sweater , because it's time for The West's fourth annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party benefitting the Southeast Texas Food Bank.
Jack's obsession in his basement revolves around Christmas sweaters so tacky some people find them beautiful.
Bust out that ugly-as-sin sweater, because it's time for The West's fourth annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party benefitting the Southeast Texas Food Bank.
A tacky to Russian President Vladimir Putin, says Bret Stephens.