Meaning of hokey


Something that’s hokey is silly and sentimental — you could also call it “sappy” or “mawkish.” A hokey speech is more likely to make people roll their eyes and squirm than to make them cry.

You can buy your friend a hokey birthday card as a joke, or read her a hokey poem to make her laugh. There’s a hint of insincerity when something’s hokey — people can tell that the sentiments in your hokey yearbook quote aren’t entirely genuine. In the mid-1800s, hokey-pokey was defined as “false, cheap material,” possibly based on hocus-pocus, and usually referring to artificial flavoring in cheap ice cream. Today, the hokey-pokey is mainly known as a silly dance.

Definitions of hokey
  1. adjective

    effusively or insincerely emotional

  2. adjective

    artificially formal


    artificial, contrived, stilted

    affected, unnatural

    speaking or behaving in an artificial way to make an impression

Word Family

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