Definition of mannish in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmaniSH/


often derogatory
(Of a woman) having characteristics that are stereotypically associated with men and can be considered unbecoming in a woman.
Example sentences
  • She was very mannish, and what we were taught was that those masculine traits were evil - and that her evil was somehow infectious.
  • While her performance is deft and provocative, her mannish appearance is so off-putting that it's tough to imagine two men being so worked up over her they'd risk everything to have her.
  • In Arzner's subtly altered version, Rosalind Russell's obsessive Harriet is a chilling yet mesmerising figure, and in low-angle shots and mannish attire, looms as majestic and vengeful as a modern-day Medea.
unfeminine, unwomanly, masculine, unladylike, Amazonian;
male, manlike, manly
informal butch



Pronunciation: /ˈmaniSHlē/
Example sentences
  • Weigert attempts to inject testosterone into the role by lumbering about the stage shoulders first and sitting mannishly with her legs apart.
  • Her stylish ringlets appear more ‘feminine’ when contrasted to the strange, almost mannishly cropped hair of the standing figure.
  • By the 1930s she dressed more mannishly, wearing a tie and jacket with skirts.


Pronunciation: /ˈmaniSHnəs/
Example sentences
  • Men started to denounce the ‘mannishness’ of women and became obsessed by images of the femme fatale.
  • Instead of grace, there has come in many women an affectation of mannishness, as is shown in hats, jackets, long strides, and a healthful swinging of the arms in walking.
  • It is unfortunate that society links women's sports with mannishness.


Old English mennisc 'human' (see man, -ish1). The current sense dates from late Middle English.

Words that rhyme with mannish

banish, clannish, Spanish, tannish, vanish

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: man·nish

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