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ACT 7 (American College Testing), Words and Language, Language and Expression 1



How to pronounce cliché (audio)


Dictionary definition of cliché

A phrase or expression that has become overused and lacks originality.
"The politician's use of a well-worn cliché didn't impress the audience."

Detailed meaning of cliché

Clichés are often used to describe a situation, character, or plot that is familiar and predictable. They are often used in literature, movies, and other forms of media as a shorthand way of conveying information, but they can also make the work feel unoriginal and lacking in creativity. Clichés can also be found in everyday speech, such as idioms, catchphrases, and proverbs. Clichés can be seen as a form of laziness in writing, as they rely on the audience's prior knowledge and do not require the writer to be creative or to put in any extra effort. Clichés can also be used to make a point or to make a text more relatable, but they can also be a hindrance to the text by making it unoriginal.

Example sentences containing cliché

1. The use of the same old cliché in his speech was disappointing.
2. Her choice of a cliché for the title of the article was unoriginal.
3. The movie relied heavily on a tired cliché to drive the plot.
4. He couldn't help but cringe at the overuse of that cliché.
5. The story's reliance on the tired old cliché was evident from the start.
6. She decided to avoid using a cliché in her writing.

History and etymology of cliché

The noun 'cliché' has its roots in French, where it originally referred to a stereotype block used in printing, particularly for reproducing decorative motifs. The word 'cliché' in French meant 'stereotype' or 'trite phrase.' The etymology of 'cliché' is related to the sound produced when the stereotype block was dropped into molten metal for printing, creating a clicking sound. Over time, 'cliché' transitioned from its printing origins to describe phrases or expressions that have become overused and lack originality. This transformation in meaning reflects the notion that such phrases, like stereotype blocks in printing, have been reproduced to the point of becoming predictable and unoriginal in their usage.

Quiz: Find the meaning of cliché

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Further usage examples of cliché

1. The book's plot felt like a recycled cliché.
2. The artist wanted to break away from the conventional cliché.
3. His speech was filled with the same tired cliché.
4. Her portrayal of the character was a cliché.
5. The filmmaker wanted to challenge the use of cliché in storytelling.
6. The ad campaign relied on a cliché to sell the product.
7. The choice of a cliché for the headline was uninteresting.
8. The fashion industry is often criticized for its reliance on cliché.
9. His attempt to be original fell flat when he used a cliché.
10. The party decorations were a cliché of balloons and streamers.
11. The movie's plot followed the same cliché as countless others.
12. The writer was accused of perpetuating a harmful cliché.
13. She was tired of seeing the same cliché in every romantic comedy.
14. Using that tired cliché in your essay won't impress the professor.
15. The film's dialogue was full of one cliché after another.
16. She rolled her eyes at his predictable romantic cliché.
17. The comedian's routine was filled with outdated cliché humor.
18. The writer aimed to avoid every literary cliché in the book.
19. The poster featured a cliché image of a sunset on the beach.
20. He cringed when he heard the worn-out cliché in the conversation.
21. The marketing campaign relied on the use of an old advertising cliché.
22. His proposal lacked originality and was riddled with cliché ideas.
23. The artist challenged the art world by avoiding cliché themes.
24. In her writing, she sought to break free from every cliché.

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