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chichi


This word comes from French. It literally means "airs" or "fuss," and we've used it in English since about 1908.

Like it sounds, something chichi is trendy and fancy in a showy way.

(And, chichi can also mean trendy, fancy showiness.)

Pronunciation:
SHE she

Part of speech:
Usually it's an adjective ("it's so chichi," "this chichi café")
but it's also a noun, the uncountable kind ("all this chichi," "too much chichi").

Other forms:
Sometimes you'll see it hyphenated: "chi-chi."

How to use it:
This fun-to-say word usually has a negative tone: to call something chichi is to suggest that it's fake, fussy, frou-frou, overdone, and/or pretentious.

Let's check out the adjective first.

Talk about chichi places, like chichi cafés, clubs, stores, streets, hotels, schools, neighborhoods, towns, etc. Or, say that a place has a chichi atmosphere or chichi surroundings.

Or, talk about chichi things: chichi gifts, knickknacks, food, drinks, events, etc.

So far we've looked at using "chichi" as an adjective, and that's the most common way we use it. But let's also check out the noun. You can talk about doing or making something with chichi (or without chichi), or say that something has a bit of chichi, a touch of chichi, too much chichi, etc.

examples:
I was too hungry to spend time admiring the chichi little plate of sushi.

Inside Cooper's Hawk, chichi wine accessories clutter the path to the hostess stand.



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