of, like, or befitting a child: childish games.
puerile; weak; silly: childish fears.

Origin of childish

before 1000; Middle English childisch, Old English cildisc. See child, -ish1
Related formschild·ish·ly, adverbchild·ish·ness, nouno·ver·child·ish, adjectiveo·ver·child·ish·ly, adverbo·ver·child·ish·ness, nounun·child·ish, adjectiveun·child·ish·ly, adverbun·child·ish·ness, noun
Can be confusedchildish childlike (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonym study

2. Childish, infantile, childlike refer to characteristics or qualities of childhood. The ending -ish often has unfavorable connotations; childish therefore refers to characteristics that are undesirable and unpleasant: childish selfishness, outbursts of temper. Infantile, originally a general word, now often carries an even stronger idea of disapproval or scorn than does childish : infantile reasoning, behavior. The ending -like has pleasing or neutral connotations; childlike therefore refers to the characteristics that are desirable and admirable: childlike innocence, trust.

Antonyms for childish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for childishly

Contemporary Examples of childishly

Historical Examples of childishly

  • THEY realize how childishly spiteful it would be for them to follow your example.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • The priest was lying, clumsily, childishly, but it might be he could bargain with them.

    Two Thousand Miles Below

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • "And you said you would come to the mountains," she told him childishly.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • From the tragic and weird to the childishly inane was but a step.

    The Treasure Trail

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • Anger she did feel, but it was, childishly, anger over the candied fruit.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

British Dictionary definitions for childishly



in the manner of, belonging to, or suitable to a child
foolish or petty; puerilechildish fears
Derived Formschildishly, adverbchildishness, 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 childishly



Old English cildisc "proper to a child;" see child + -ish. Meaning "puerile, immature, like a child" in a bad sense is from early 15c. Related: Childishly; childishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper