Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[pen-muh n-ship] /ˈpɛn mənˌʃɪp/
the art of handwriting; the use of the pen in writing.
a person's style or manner of handwriting:
clear penmanship; poor penmanship.
Origin of penmanship
First recorded in 1685-95; penman + -ship Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for penmanship
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He asked me to judge the writer's character from the penmanship.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport Robert Neilson Stephens
  • You are to come three nights a week, for lessons in arithmetic and penmanship.

    From Farm to Fortune Horatio Alger Jr.
  • We have prepared, for home study, books on bookkeeping, penmanship and shorthand.

    Gov. Bob. Taylor's Tales Robert L. Taylor
  • penmanship has always been one of my own deficiencies, and I know how to sympathize with you.

    Behind the Scenes Elizabeth Keckley
  • She did; and it affected his penmanship so that the writing grew wabbly.

    Iole Robert W. Chambers
  • There are no other specimens of his penmanship in existence.

  • Haven't you got a sample of your father's penmanship anywhere, Hiram?

    Owen Clancy's Happy Trail Burt L. Standish
  • Bosco Blithers, professor of penmanship and author of “Pot-hooks and Hangers.”

    Three Hats

    Alfred Debrun
  • I never met his equal in penmanship, drawing, and designing.

    Captain Canot Brantz Mayer
British Dictionary definitions for penmanship


style or technique of writing by hand Also called calligraphy
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for penmanship

1690s, from obsolete penman "copyist, clerk, scrivener" + -ship.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for penmanship

Word Value for penmanship

Scrabble Words With Friends