) KEY NOUN:
- A trite or overused expression or idea: "Even while the phrase was degenerating to cliché in ordinary public use . . . scholars were giving it increasing attention" (Anthony Brandt).
- A person or character whose behavior is predictable or superficial: "There is a young explorer . . . who turns out not to be quite the cliche expected" (John Crowley).
French, past participle of clicher
, to stereotype (imitative of the sound made when the matrix is dropped into molten metal to make a stereotype plate)SYNONYMS: cliché, bromide, commonplace, platitude, truism
These nouns denote an expression or idea that has lost its originality or force through overuse: a short story weakened by clichés; the old bromide that we are what we eat; uttered the commonplace "welcome aboard"; a eulogy full of platitudes; a once-original thought that has become a truism.