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childish

[chahyl-dish] /ˈtʃaɪl dɪʃ/
adjective
1.
of, like, or befitting a child:
childish games.
2.
puerile; weak; silly:
childish fears.
Origin of childish
1000
before 1000; Middle English childisch, Old English cildisc. See child, -ish1
Related forms
childishly, adverb
childishness, noun
overchildish, adjective
overchildishly, adverb
overchildishness, noun
unchildish, adjective
unchildishly, adverb
unchildishness, noun
Can be confused
childish, childlike (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
Childish, infantile, childlike refer to characteristics or qualities of childhood. The ending -ish often has unfavorable connotations; childish therefore refers to characteristics that are undesirable and unpleasant: childish selfishness, outbursts of temper. Infantile, originally a general word, now often carries an even stronger idea of disapproval or scorn than does childish : infantile reasoning, behavior. The ending -like has pleasing or neutral connotations; childlike therefore refers to the characteristics that are desirable and admirable: childlike innocence, trust.
Antonyms
mature, adult.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for childish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was childish of her to behave so spitefully, but what could he do except repay her in kind?

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • A girl of Frederica's age must be childish indeed, if such things do not strike her.

    Lady Susan Jane Austen
  • When I left him a short time ago, he looked unusually sad—for his childish mind understood that he was about to die.

    Romances of Old Japan Yei Theodora Ozaki
  • "So you can work—you really can work," repeated Angelique with childish joy.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • She remembered well enough that childish kiss, and saw in his eyes that he remembered it.

    The Duke of Stockbridge Edward Bellamy
British Dictionary definitions for childish

childish

/ˈtʃaɪldɪʃ/
adjective
1.
in the manner of, belonging to, or suitable to a child
2.
foolish or petty; puerile: childish fears
Derived Forms
childishly, adverb
childishness, 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 childish
adj.

Old English cildisc "proper to a child;" see child + -ish. Meaning "puerile, immature, like a child" in a bad sense is from early 15c. Related: Childishly; childishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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17
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