Meaning of tinsel

tin•sel

Pronunciation: (tin'sul), [key]
— n., adj., v., -seled, -sel•ing -selled, -sel•ling.
—n.
  1. a glittering metallic substance, as copper or brass, in thin sheets, used in pieces, strips, threads, etc., to produce a sparkling effect cheaply.
  2. a metallic yarn, usually wrapped around a core yarn of silk, rayon, or cotton, for weaving brocade or lamé.
  3. anything showy or attractive with little or no real worth; showy pretense: The actress was tired of the fantasy and tinsel of her life.
  4. a fabric, formerly in use, of silk or wool interwoven with threads of gold, silver, or, later, copper.
—adj.
  1. consisting of or containing tinsel.
  2. showy; gaudy; tawdry.
—v.t.
  1. to adorn with tinsel.
  2. to adorn with anything glittering.
  3. to make showy or gaudy.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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