an energetic, sometimes boisterous girl whose behavior and pursuits, especially in games and sports, are considered more typical of boys than of girls.

Origin of tomboy

First recorded in 1545–55; Tom + boy
Related formstom·boy·ish, adjectivetom·boy·ish·ly, adverbtom·boy·ish·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for tomboyish

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

Examples from the Web for tomboyish

Contemporary Examples of tomboyish

Historical Examples of tomboyish

  • Would she be fair or dark, and would her ways be gentle or tomboyish?

    The Love Story of Abner Stone

    Edwin Carlile Litsey

  • You can't keep up such a tomboyish trick all your life, and now is a good time to begin, I think.

    We Ten

    Lyda Farrington Kraus

  • She was not a pretty girl, but was a tremendously healthy one--strong, well developed, and tomboyish in her activities.

  • She has dropped that hoydenish, tomboyish manner that was so offensive when she returned from the ranch.

    Blue Bonnet in Boston

    Caroline E. Jacobs

  • She was not particularly drawn to merry, tomboyish Sahwah, because she was not musical, although they got along.

British Dictionary definitions for tomboyish



a girl who acts or dresses in a boyish way, liking rough outdoor activities
Derived Formstomboyish, adjectivetomboyishly, adverbtomboyishness, 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 tomboyish



1550s, "rude, boisterous boy," from Tom + boy; meaning "bold or immodest woman" is attested from 1570s; that of "girl who acts like a spirited boy" is first recorded 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper