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[boi-ish] /ˈbɔɪ ɪʃ/
of or befitting a boy; engagingly youthful or innocent:
a boyish grin.
Origin of boyish
1540-50; boy + -ish1
Related forms
boyishly, adverb
boyishness, noun
unboyish, adjective
unboyishly, adverb
unboyishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for boyish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then Marcus drew back his head with one of his boyish laughs.

    Doctor Luttrell's First Patient Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • It is true that this light-hearted, gay, and artistic temper was boyish.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Marcel shook his head, and his eyes were full of a boyish humour.

    The Heart of Unaga Ridgwell Cullum
  • But he had not come down there spurred on by any boyish admiration for the army.

    The Queen's Scarlet George Manville Fenn
  • A veil of ice seemed to fall over the boyish face and leave it chiseled marble.

    Wyoming, a Story of the Outdoor West William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for boyish


of or like a boy in looks, behaviour, or character, esp when regarded as attractive or endearing: a boyish smile
Derived Forms
boyishly, adverb
boyishness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for boyish

1540s, "pertaining to boys," from boy + -ish. Meaning "puerile" is from 1570s. Related: Boyishly; boyishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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