after a fashion

Idioms & Phrases

after a fashion

Also, after a sort. Somehow or other; not very well, as in John can read music, after a fashion, or He managed to paint the house after a sort. The first phrase, in which fashion means "a manner of doing something," has been so used since the mid-1800s, when it replaced in a fashion. The variant dates from the mid-1500s. Also see in a way; (somehow) or other.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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