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[boi-ish] /ˈbɔɪ ɪʃ/
of or befitting a boy; engagingly youthful or innocent:
a boyish grin.
Origin of boyish
First recorded in 1540-50; boy + -ish1
Related forms
boyishly, adverb
boyishness, noun
unboyish, adjective
unboyishly, adverb
unboyishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for boyish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Tom's handsome, boyish face had the greatest attraction for her.

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • It was moonlight, and I went through the streets with boyish confidence.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Nor had I ever before seen a soldier who seemed to my boyish eyes so like what a warrior should be.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • As my boyish eyes saw it, it was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • But his smile was boyish and pleasant, and his manner a trifle shy.

British Dictionary definitions for boyish


of or like a boy in looks, behaviour, or character, esp when regarded as attractive or endearing: a boyish smile
Derived Forms
boyishly, adverb
boyishness, 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 boyish

1540s, "pertaining to boys," from boy + -ish. Meaning "puerile" is from 1570s. Related: Boyishly; boyishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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