Tinsel
Tinsel Tin"sel, n. [F. ['e]tincelle a spark, OF. estincelle, L. scintilla. Cf. {Scintillate}, {Stencil}.] 1. A shining material used for ornamental purposes; especially, a very thin, gauzelike cloth with much gold or silver woven into it; also, very thin metal overlaid with a thin coating of gold or silver, brass foil, or the like. [1913 Webster]

Who can discern the tinsel from the gold? --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. Something shining and gaudy; something superficially shining and showy, or having a false luster, and more gay than valuable. [1913 Webster]

O happy peasant! O unhappy bard! His the mere tinsel, hers the rich reward. --Cowper. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • Tinsel — was originally a metallic garland for Christmas decoration. Nowadays it is typically made of plastic, and used particularly to decorate Christmas trees. In addition it can be hung from walls or ceilings and is normally flexible enough to be… …   Wikipedia

  • tinsel — [tin′səl] n. [aphetic < MFr estincelle, a spark, spangle: see STENCIL] 1. Historical a cloth of silk, wool, etc. interwoven with glittering threads of gold, silver, or other metal 2. thin sheets, strips, or threads of tin, metal foil, etc.,… …   English World dictionary

  • Tinsel — Tin sel, a. Showy to excess; gaudy; specious; superficial. Tinsel trappings. Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tinsel — Tin sel, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Tinseled}or {Tinselled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Tinseling} or {Tinselling}.] To adorn with tinsel; to deck out with cheap but showy ornaments; to make gaudy. [1913 Webster] She, tinseled o er in robes of varying hues. Pope …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tinsel — index meretricious, tawdry Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • tinsel — (n.) mid 15c., a kind of cloth made with interwoven gold or silver thread, from M.Fr. estincelle spark, spangle (see STENCIL (Cf. stencil)). Meaning very thin sheets or strips of shiny metal is recorded from 1590s. Figurative sense of anything… …   Etymology dictionary

  • tinsel — ► NOUN 1) a form of decoration consisting of thin strips of shiny metal foil attached to a length of thread. 2) superficial attractiveness or glamour. DERIVATIVES tinselled adjective tinselly adjective. ORIGIN Old French estincele spark , from… …   English terms dictionary

  • tinsel — tinsellike, adj. /tin seuhl/, n., adj., v., tinseled, tinseling or (esp. Brit.) tinselled, tinselling. n. 1. a glittering metallic substance, as copper or brass, in thin sheets, used in pieces, strips, threads, etc., to produce a sparkling effect …   Universalium

  • tinsel — I. noun Etymology: Middle English tyneseyle cloth interwoven with metallic thread, probably from Anglo French tencelé, past participle of tenceler, estenceler to sparkle more at stencil Date: 1538 1. threads, strips, or sheets of metal, paper, or …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tinsel — 1. noun /ˈtɪn.səl/ a) A shining material used for ornamental purposes; especially, a very thin, gauzelike cloth with much gold or silver woven into it; also, very thin metal overlaid with a thin coating of gold or silver, brass foil, or the like …   Wiktionary

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