9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[maw-kish] /ˈmɔ kɪʃ/
characterized by sickly sentimentality; weakly emotional; maudlin.
having a mildly sickening flavor; slightly nauseating.
Origin of mawkish
late Middle English
1660-70; obsolete mawk maggot (late Middle English < Old Norse mathkr maggot) + -ish1. See maggot
Related forms
mawkishly, adverb
mawkishness, noun
1. sentimental, teary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mawkish
  • There is nothing mawkish or mealy-mouthed about his successor.
  • Whether these mawkish interludes work as catharsis only the author can tell.
  • It is also about the arrogance, ambition, cold-heartedness and mawkish sentimentality of the humans who ostensibly cared for him.
  • The network's mawkish new series posits itself as an hourlong grief-counseling session that benefits the living and the dead.
  • The simultaneous mawkish cuteness and vagueness of this sentiment were a warning sign.
  • Admittedly the text is glibly anti-establishment and often mawkish.
  • Stiffly, conventionally romantic and mawkish to an extreme, they only do as directed in a hopelessly hackneyed script.
  • It is cheap, gaudy, mawkish and artificial-offensive to intelligence and taste.
  • One reason it's so inspiring is that you never sense a mawkish triumph-of-the-human-spirit agenda being pushed.
  • But this actor, with his beseeching hound dog look and trembling lower lip, never becomes mawkish.
British Dictionary definitions for mawkish


falsely sentimental, esp in a weak or maudlin way
nauseating or insipid in flavour, smell, etc
Derived Forms
mawkishly, adverb
mawkishness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from obsolete mawkmaggot + -ish
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 mawkish

1660s, "sickly, nauseated," from Middle English mawke "maggot" (see maggot). Sense of "sickly sentimental" is first recorded 1702. Related: Mawkishly; mawkishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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