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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce hackneyed (audio)

Dictionary definition of hackneyed

Overused, trite, or lacking in originality to the point of becoming clichéd and uninteresting.
"The hackneyed phrase 'think outside the box' has lost its impact."

Detailed meaning of hackneyed

When we characterize something as hackneyed, we emphasize its tired, worn-out nature, often because it has been repeated so frequently that it no longer holds any freshness or novelty. Hackneyed phrases, ideas, or themes are often considered unoriginal and uninspiring, as they fail to engage or surprise due to their predictable and commonplace nature. This term conveys a sense of staleness and a lack of creativity, suggesting that the subject has lost its impact or appeal through excessive repetition and a failure to offer anything new or imaginative.

Example sentences containing hackneyed

1. His speech was full of hackneyed cliches and lacked originality.
2. The movie's plot was predictable and hackneyed.
3. Using hackneyed phrases in your writing can make it seem amateurish.
4. The comedian's jokes were hackneyed and fell flat with the audience.
5. I'm tired of hearing the same hackneyed excuses from my coworkers.
6. The novel was criticized for relying on hackneyed stereotypes.

History and etymology of hackneyed

The term 'hackneyed' finds its etymological roots in the word 'hackney,' which originally referred to a horse for hire or a horse used for common, everyday tasks. This word, in turn, can be traced back to the Old French word 'haquenée,' which meant a small horse or mare. Over time, the term 'hackney' evolved to describe things that were commonplace and readily available, such as hackney coaches for transportation. Hence, 'hackneyed' emerged as an adjective in English to describe ideas, phrases, or expressions that have become so overused and common that they have lost their originality and impact, much like a well-worn horse in everyday service.

Quiz: Find the meaning of hackneyed

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Further usage examples of hackneyed

1. The artist's work was dismissed as hackneyed and unoriginal.
2. The politician's speech was filled with hackneyed promises that he never kept.
3. The advertising campaign relied on hackneyed imagery and slogans.
4. The restaurant's menu was full of hackneyed dishes that lacked creativity.
5. The coach's hackneyed motivational speeches did little to inspire the team.
6. The movie's hackneyed plot offered nothing new to the genre.
7. His hackneyed excuses for being late were tiresome.
8. The song's lyrics were so hackneyed that they lacked emotional depth.
9. The restaurant's menu featured hackneyed dishes seen at every other place.
10. The comedian's jokes were stale and hackneyed, lacking freshness.
11. The speech's hackneyed phrases failed to inspire the audience.
12. The writer's reliance on hackneyed clichés weakened the story.
13. The party's decorations were unimaginative and hackneyed.
14. The advertising campaign relied on hackneyed stereotypes.
15. The fashion show featured hackneyed trends from years past.
16. The art exhibit's theme felt hackneyed, lacking originality.
17. The TV show's characters and plotlines had become hackneyed.
18. His proposal was dismissed as hackneyed and unoriginal.
19. The marketing slogans were clichéd and hackneyed.
20. The comedian's act was full of hackneyed one-liners.
21. The wedding ceremony was traditional but somewhat hackneyed.
22. The magazine's content felt tired and hackneyed.
23. The novelist's overuse of hackneyed expressions frustrated readers.
24. The speechwriters resorted to hackneyed phrases in the political address.
25. The team's strategy was uninspired and hackneyed, lacking innovation.



overused, original, fresh, novel


GRE 6 (Graduate Record Examination), Frustration and Exasperation, Common and Ordinary, Deterioration and Decline, Decline and Decay, Dull and Uninteresting

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