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[man-ish] /ˈmæn ɪʃ/
being typical or suggestive of a man rather than a woman:
mannish clothing styles for women; a mannish voice.
resembling a man, as in size or manner:
a mannish youth.
Origin of mannish
before 900; Middle English; replacing Middle English mennish, Old English mennisc; see man1, -ish1
Related forms
mannishly, adverb
mannishness, noun
unmannish, adjective
unmannishly, adverb
unmannishness, noun
1, 2. See manly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mannish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One stepped out of childish conventions into mannish conventions, and did so, certainly, without any instruction from outside.

    Lore of Proserpine Maurice Hewlett
  • Yet she had none of the mannish mannerisms that so often accompany an "athletic" girl.

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
  • The girls out there usually got rough and mannish after they went to herding.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • "Now, don't forget about that," said one of the mannish women.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • Her friends bowed to her from their carriages, thinking her most beautiful in her mannish costume.

    The Blood of the Arena Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • Allie was a masculine creature, who affected a mannish cut of clothes.

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • One of them wore a mannish shirtwaist, with a high collar and scarf.

    Vandover and the Brute Frank Norris
  • She was mannish in her attire and quite soldierly in her bearing.

  • But she was well-groomed and nicely dressed in her mannish silk shirt and gray tailored skirt.

    Contrary Mary Temple Bailey
British Dictionary definitions for mannish


(of a woman) having or displaying qualities regarded as typical of a man
of or resembling a man
Derived Forms
mannishly, adverb
mannishness, 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 mannish

Old English mennisc "human, human-like, natural," from Proto-Germanic *manniska- (cf. Old Saxon mannisc, Old High German mennisc, Gothic mannisks), from *manna- (see man (n.)). In some cases a new formation from man (n.) + -ish.

Sense of "masculine" is from late 14c.; in reference to women seen as masculine, from late 14c. Of adult males (opposed to childish) from 1520s. Related: Mannishly; mannishness. The proto-Germanic adjective became, in some languages, a noun meaning "human" (cf. German Mensch), and in Old English mannish also was used as a noun "mankind, folk, race, people."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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