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See more synonyms for tomboy on Thesaurus.com
  1. an energetic, sometimes boisterous girl whose behavior and pursuits, especially in games and sports, are considered more typical of boys than of girls.
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Origin of tomboy

First recorded in 1545–55; Tom + boy
Related formstom·boy·ish, adjectivetom·boy·ish·ly, adverbtom·boy·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for tomboyish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


  1. a girl who acts or dresses in a boyish way, liking rough outdoor activities
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper