[ tom-boi ]
/ ˈtɒmˌbɔɪ /


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

Examples from the Web for tomboyish

British Dictionary definitions for tomboyish


/ (ˈtɒmˌbɔɪ) /


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