View synonyms for mannerism


[ man-uh-riz-uhm ]


  1. a habitual or characteristic manner, mode, or way of doing something; distinctive quality or style, as in behavior or speech:

    He has an annoying mannerism of tapping his fingers while he talks. They copied his literary mannerisms but always lacked his ebullience.

  2. marked or excessive adherence to an unusual or a particular manner, especially if affected:

    Natural courtesy is a world apart from snobbish mannerism.

  3. (usually initial capital letter) a style in the fine arts developed principally in Europe during the 16th century, chiefly characterized by a complex perspectival system, elongation of forms, strained gestures or poses of figures, and intense, often strident color.


/ ˈmænəˌrɪzəm /


  1. a distinctive and individual gesture or trait; idiosyncrasy
  2. often capital a principally Italian movement in art and architecture between the High Renaissance and Baroque periods (1520–1600) that sought to represent an ideal of beauty rather than natural images of it, using characteristic distortion and exaggeration of human proportions, perspective, etc
  3. adherence to a distinctive or affected manner, esp in art or literature

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Derived Forms

  • ˌmannerˈistic, adjective
  • ˌmannerˈistically, adverb
  • ˈmannerist, noun

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Other Words From

  • manner·ist noun
  • manner·istic adjective
  • manner·isti·cal·ly adverb
  • nonman·ner·istic adjective
  • semi·manner·istic adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of mannerism1

First recorded in 1795–1805; manner 1 + -ism

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Example Sentences

Our friendship began “through the kitchen” and it was strengthened by shared opinions and similar mannerisms.

This, this kid’s a really chill guy but when he does get upset, he has a number of vocal mannerisms.

They do so by manipulating language, mannerisms, clothing, and credentials in ways that amplify their middle-class status, what I call public identities.

From Vox

I knew my friend didn’t move like that, with the limited range of these computer-generated mannerisms.

Knowing his mannerisms, inflection and body language gives me additional contextual clues.

Impersonation absolutely requires the finest detail of mannerism to be represented in the action.

Cuban women excel in charm of mannerism and in their eyes Miss Roosevelt appears unpolished and uncut.

He maintains that Nature should be the only teacher, and that we are to be wedded to no man's mannerism.

Imitation is a precipice, a swift descent through poverty of thought into the chaos of mannerism, in the place of style.

Quickly it runs to a fluent mannerism that makes a great bulk of the text.


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