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[tom-boi] /ˈtɒmˌbɔɪ/
an energetic, sometimes boisterous girl whose behavior and pursuits, especially in games and sports, are considered more typical of boys than of girls.
Origin of tomboy
1545-55; Tom + boy
Related forms
tomboyish, adjective
tomboyishly, adverb
tomboyishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tomboy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Really the old lady has worked well to change my tomboy into that nice little girl: I wonder how she did it.

    Jack and Jill Louisa May Alcott
  • But then there had been the tomboy laughter of dark Falkny, he could not neglect her.

    The Valor of Cappen Varra Poul William Anderson
  • Harry—Emery was fourteen years old, fairly tall for her age, not overburdened with flesh and somewhat of a tomboy.

    The Crimson Sweater Ralph Henry Barbour
  • Considering that trio of turtles, tomboy, it may be for years and it may be forever.

    The Big Fix George Oliver Smith
  • I suppose I always seemed pretty young to him and a kind of tomboy.

British Dictionary definitions for tomboy


a girl who acts or dresses in a boyish way, liking rough outdoor activities
Derived Forms
tomboyish, adjective
tomboyishly, adverb
tomboyishness, 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 tomboy

1550s, "rude, boisterous boy," from Tom + boy; meaning "bold or immodest woman" is attested from 1570s; that of "girl who acts like a spirited boy" is first recorded 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tomboy


Related Terms

uncle tomahawk

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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