[ chahyl-dish ]
/ ˈtʃaɪl dɪʃ /


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 forms

Can be confused

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

Examples from the Web for childishness

British Dictionary definitions for childishness


/ (ˈtʃaɪldɪʃ) /


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

Derived Forms

childishly, 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