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 plastic used to produce a glittering and sparkling appearance in fabrics, yarns, or decorations 2. something superficially attractive or glamorous but of little real worth <
disfigured by no gaudy tinsel of rhetoric or declamation — Thomas Jefferson
II. adjective Date: 1575 1. made of or covered with tinsel 2. a. cheaply gaudy ; tawdry b. specious, superficial <
tinsel promises
III. transitive verb (tinseled or tinselled; tinseling or tinselling) Date: 1594 1. to interweave, overlay, or adorn with or as if with tinsel 2. to impart a specious brightness to

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 — 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

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”