Definition of mawkish in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɔːkɪʃ/


1Sentimental in an exaggerated or false way: a mawkish ode to parenthood
More example sentences
  • Yet there was a valid point in its criticism of ‘the mawkish sentimentality of a society that has become hooked on grief and likes to wallow in a sense of vicarious victimhood’.
  • No pods being immediately in evidence, we suspect it was a more run-of-the-mill form of mawkish, voter-confidence-reducing sentimentality disguised as comradely goodwill.
  • Public displays of emotion were, he argued, a ‘symptom of a fragmented society that has exchanged reason for emotion, action for gesture, cool reserve for mawkish sentimentality’.
sentimental, over-sentimental, overemotional, cloying, sickly, saccharine, sugary, syrupy, sickening, nauseating, maudlin, lachrymose, banal, trite;
British  twee
British informal soppy
North American informal cornball, sappy, hokey, three-hanky
1.1 archaic or dialect Having a faint sickly flavour: the mawkish smell of warm beer



Pronunciation: /ˈmɔːkɪʃ(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • Don't think I don't realize how crazy this sounds, how mawkishly sentimental, how downright ‘unpatriotic’.
  • He steered the client out in the corridor, where the poor man, clearly confused and with no verbal skills, stood for a few minutes staring mawkishly around.
  • He croons the words mawkishly, holding the mike close to his mouth, keeping a straight face.


Pronunciation: /ˈmɔːkɪʃnəs/
Example sentences
  • It is in sharing this history that they begin to conquer it, and it is by including the specific and ugly details of their painful marriages that the novel sidesteps sentimentality and mawkishness in its happy and cathartic conclusion.
  • He emerges as a tender and appreciative lover, without a trace of mawkishness or blackmail in his tone; happiness oozes from his letters, a holiday atmosphere of being truant from his professional life.
  • The composer can mistake cuteness for cleverness, and like any unabashed sentimentalist, he's often a stone's throw from mawkishness.


Mid 17th century (in the sense 'inclined to sickness'): from obsolete mawk 'maggot', from Old Norse mathkr, of Germanic origin.

Words that rhyme with mawkish


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mawk|ish

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