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[chahyl-dish] /ˈtʃaɪl dɪʃ/
of, like, or befitting a child:
childish games.
puerile; weak; silly:
childish fears.
Origin of childish
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)
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.
mature, adult. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for childishly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The distance wavered before Choate's eyes, He hated Jeffrey childishly because he could be so calm.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • THEY realize how childishly spiteful it would be for them to follow your example.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • Very foolish of me, I know, but my nature is so childishly open.

    Cradock Nowell, Vol. 3 (of 3) Richard Doddridge Blackmore
  • "And you said you would come to the mountains," she told him childishly.

    The Innocent Adventuress Mary Hastings Bradley
  • Pa wants them for the drawing-room, but I am so childishly pleased, I can't part with them yet.

    Cleo The Magnificent Louis Zangwill
  • From the tragic and weird to the childishly inane was but a step.

    The Treasure Trail Marah Ellis Ryan
  • Carol fluttered at the back of the room, childishly excited when she was sent to fetch towels and a basin of water.

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • Anger she did feel, but it was, childishly, anger over the candied fruit.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
British Dictionary definitions for childishly


in the manner of, belonging to, or suitable to a child
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 childishly



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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