View definitions for hackneyed



Discover More

Example Sentences

The Wilhelm scream is no hackneyed narrative device, but instead a nod to what Burtt calls the legacy of the language of sound.

The word “unique” is so hackneyed that it’s a cliche to say it’s a cliche.

If it’s a little hammy or hackneyed, it’s because it’s a pretty reliable formula that works.

From Digiday

Even the harmonized choral accents are hackneyed, ripped straight from her previous mega-hit “You Belong with Me.”

Hackneyed chestnuts like that are reserved for old toastmasters, and yet, there we were.

Sometimes Allen retools a hackneyed plot and the bones show through—not this time.

Hackneyed and dull, it feels like a lazy throwback in every sense of the word.

Everything seemed too hackneyed or unconvincing or simply impossible.

To use a hackneyed figure, it was as though the earth had opened and swallowed her husband.

Much like general terms, which mean something or nothing, are expressions that have become trite and hackneyed.

I shall probably be met with the hackneyed cry, The question is entirely one of price.

You can't describe them unless you label them with the hackneyed interrogation point.

Each gentleman addressed her with some hackneyed compliment.

Discover More

Frequently Asked Questions

What is another word for hackneyed?

The closest synonyms for hackneyed are trite and banal. All three words suggest that something has become stale or dull due to overuse—that it has become clichéd due to being done to death.

Synonyms that focus on overuse include overused, overdone, worn out, and well-worn. Other synonyms include commonplace and unoriginal.

The word threadbare is used in a literal way to describe worn-out clothes, but it can also be used in a figurative way to mean hackneyed. The word shopworn can mean the same thing.

Where does hackneyed come from?

Hackneyed comes from the word hackney, referring to a carriage for hire (also called a hackney coach) or the kind of horse used to pull such a carriage. The word was also once used to refer to a person hired to do menial work, leading to the term hack, meaning someone, such as an artist or writer, who produces hackneyed work. The word hackney itself comes from the placename Hackney, a borough of London.

What is the opposite (antonym) of hackneyed?

Hackneyed suggests something that is overdone. The opposite of this would be something truly new, fresh, and original. Be careful, though—calling something fresh or original can sound a bit hackneyed!

How do you use hackneyed in a sentence?

Hackneyed is especially used to describe overused expressions or unoriginal works of art or elements of them, such as the plot of a movie or an overdone joke.

Here are some examples of hackneyed in a sentence:

  • His leadership style depended on spouting hackneyed phrases like “blue sky thinking” and “bleeding edge.”
  • The mystery novel was so hackneyed that I had it figured out by the end of the first chapter.
  • I never know what to write in a sympathy card—everything feels so hackneyed and trite.

Synonym of the Day

Which one is a synonym for nurse?Get the answer

Start each day with the Synonym of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.

On this page you'll find 75 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to hackneyed, such as: banal, corny, stale, threadbare, timeworn, and trite.

From Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.