being typical or suggestive of a man rather than a woman: mannish clothing styles for women; a mannish voice.
resembling a man, as in size or manner: a mannish youth.

Origin of mannish

before 900; Middle English; replacing Middle English mennish, Old English mennisc; see man1, -ish1
Related formsman·nish·ly, adverbman·nish·ness, nounun·man·nish, adjectiveun·man·nish·ly, adverbun·man·nish·ness, noun

Synonyms for mannish

1, 2. See manly. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for mannish

macho, male, manly, masculine, butch, hoydenish, tomboyish, unfeminine

Examples from the Web for mannish

Contemporary Examples of mannish

Historical Examples of mannish

  • Yet she had none of the mannish mannerisms that so often accompany an "athletic" girl.

    Tutors' Lane

    Wilmarth Lewis

  • The girls out there usually got rough and mannish after they went to herding.

    My Antonia

    Willa Cather

  • I was afraid I should find them mannish and rough, or sentimental and conceited.

    An Old-fashioned Girl

    Louisa May Alcott

  • "Now, don't forget about that," said one of the mannish women.

    Sister Carrie

    Theodore Dreiser

  • Allie was a masculine creature, who affected a mannish cut of clothes.

    Painted Veils

    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for mannish



(of a woman) having or displaying qualities regarded as typical of a man
of or resembling a man
Derived Formsmannishly, adverbmannishness, 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 mannish

Old English mennisc "human, human-like, natural," from Proto-Germanic *manniska- (cf. Old Saxon mannisc, Old High German mennisc, Gothic mannisks), from *manna- (see man (n.)). In some cases a new formation from man (n.) + -ish.

Sense of "masculine" is from late 14c.; in reference to women seen as masculine, from late 14c. Of adult males (opposed to childish) from 1520s. Related: Mannishly; mannishness. The proto-Germanic adjective became, in some languages, a noun meaning "human" (cf. German Mensch), and in Old English mannish also was used as a noun "mankind, folk, race, people."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper