Definition of mannish in English:



  • (of a woman) having an appearance and qualities that are typically associated with men and considered unbecoming in a woman.

    ‘a mannish, sadistic matron’
    • ‘There are things that I like about being a woman that I wouldn't give up just to be considered more mannish.’
    • ‘At the time, a group of us used to dress in mannish suits as a homage to Frida.’
    • ‘Charlotte Gainsbourg, who carries so well the mannish shirt mantle passed down by her mother Jane Birkin, works the look perfectly.’
    • ‘While her performance is deft and provocative, her mannish appearance is so off-putting that it's tough to imagine two men being so worked up over her they'd risk everything to have her.’
    • ‘She was very mannish, and what we were taught was that those masculine traits were evil - and that her evil was somehow infectious.’
    • ‘In her mannish trousers and mane of golden red hair, Hepburn strode through her life with a passion, devoting 25 years to Spencer Tracy and moving on through all the long hours since his death.’
    • ‘Perhaps those experiences normalised the wearing of mannish jackets for women as much as the influence of couture.’
    • ‘The seventh member of the chorus, a wide shouldered, mannish, strong woman with steel gray eyes, took her place.’
    • ‘Innocent blondes, corrupted by wolfish brunettes with mannish haircuts and tight, tight sweaters, stare wide-eyed at the reader.’
    • ‘Yes, tomboyish girls are cute, but isn't it an insult to call a woman mannish?’
    • ‘They are mostly oversized double-breasted jackets, almost-baggy trousers and mannish topcoats.’
    • ‘If you wear mannish trousers, a coat with flared skirt will look too feminine.’
    • ‘In Arzner's subtly altered version, Rosalind Russell's obsessive Harriet is a chilling yet mesmerising figure, and in low-angle shots and mannish attire, looms as majestic and vengeful as a modern-day Medea.’
    • ‘I expect Kylie would look quite fetching in any part of the collection, however, particularly in comparison with some mannish catwalk models.’
    • ‘‘I'm sure that young man will be very grateful once this is all said and done,’ the woman informed Elle, in a rather mannish voice.’
    • ‘Ranging from obese and untalented to anorexic and untalented to mannish and untalented, these actresses represent every image any man has ever thought of to keep himself from getting aroused.’
    • ‘The main female character in this tale is stocky and mannish (with a little mustache) and carries pimple medicine in her knapsack.’
    • ‘Painted on small pieces of canvas board in the manner of a nearly competent illustrator, they feature a hard-boiled dame with a mannish haircut, very possibly the artist's image of herself.’
    • ‘The grey slouch pants are mannish in wide cut, yet here are styled to retain a feminine appealing look.’
    • ‘For six years, they had worn the square, mannish fashions the desperate times required - and they had had enough.’
    manlike, masculine, unfeminine, unwomanly, unladylike, amazonian
    butch, dykey
    viraginous, viragoish
    View synonyms


Old English mennisc ‘human’(see man, -ish). The current sense dates from late Middle English.