of or befitting a boy; engagingly youthful or innocent: a boyish grin.

Origin of boyish

First recorded in 1540–50; boy + -ish1
Related formsboy·ish·ly, adverbboy·ish·ness, nounun·boy·ish, adjectiveun·boy·ish·ly, adverbun·boy·ish·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for boyish

childish, adolescent, immature, innocent, juvenile, puerile, young

Examples from the Web for boyish

Contemporary Examples of boyish

Historical Examples of boyish

  • 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 endearinga boyish smile
Derived Formsboyishly, adverbboyishness, 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

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