Definition of mannerism in US English:



  • 1A habitual gesture or way of speaking or behaving; an idiosyncrasy.

    ‘learning the great man's speeches and studying his mannerisms’
    • ‘While Kaufman only met the real Orlean at the end of the shoot, method actor Cage spent time studying his subject's mannerisms.’
    • ‘All individuals have different traits and characteristics and differ from one another in mannerisms and mental abilities.’
    • ‘The actors inherit these mannerisms and make the characters their own in the most delightful of ways.’
    • ‘The guy who does the voice of the French Colombo is a legend in his own right, taking what Peter Falk says and adding his own mannerisms and characteristics.’
    • ‘I saw individuals, each with their own characteristics, mannerisms, perspectives.’
    • ‘Countless phrases and mannerisms have made their way from the show into my speech.’
    • ‘We looked alike and had the same mannerisms and laugh.’
    • ‘That was because his mannerisms were gentle, not brutal.’
    • ‘It was eerie how he had the same voice and mannerisms as Leigh.’
    • ‘My friends and colleagues seem to delight in my Australian mannerisms and question me constantly about customs at home.’
    • ‘Not Campbell, who employs all the quirks and mannerisms that have made him one of the most beloved cult actors of all time.’
    • ‘This involved studying the mannerisms of the cartoon version of Daphne.’
    • ‘It would be another excuse for Sir Marcus to announce all of his eldest daughter's perfect traits and mannerisms.’
    • ‘The writing has an oratorical eloquence marked in places by mannerisms probably deriving from oral delivery.’
    • ‘As time went on, they became even more familiar with the mannerisms and habits of one another.’
    • ‘There is a realness to their characters; their language is vulgar and their mannerisms are disturbing.’
    • ‘We adopt their mannerisms, and little quirks, and while doing so, we may lose our own, and lose our sense of identity.’
    • ‘Manners and mannerisms that had earlier stuck with them now undergo drastic changes.’
    • ‘I don't want their looks, I don't want their dramatic mannerisms or anything like that.’
    • ‘Despite their quirks and mannerisms, when the kids arrive at camp, they feel accepted.’
    idiosyncrasy, quirk, oddity, foible, trait, peculiarity, habit, characteristic, characteristic gesture, trick
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Psychiatry An ordinary gesture or expression that becomes abnormal through exaggeration or repetition.
      • ‘Social services staff in Leicester added that he spoke with a soft Irish accent and may be noticeable because of his distinct mannerism of blinking excessively while talking.’
  • 2Excessive or self-conscious use of a distinctive style in art, literature, or music.

    ‘he seemed deliberately to be stripping his art of mannerism’
    • ‘As Mitchell, he is all surface mannerism with no depth, an unconvincing Southern accent in a hat.’
    • ‘Miles, the more successful, exaggerated the decorative qualities of his father's style to the point of mannerism.’
    • ‘Still, it's hard to imagine any wealth of extras making up for the sometimes monotonous mannerism of these murder-on-the-mind motion pictures.’
    • ‘Billing himself as the ‘Genuine Nerd from Cleveland Ohio,’ his presence and mannerism are mesmerizing.’
    • ‘Apart from his own conscience, the writer will be curbed from falling into mannerism and affectation by the nature of his audience and, often, by the significance of what he has to say.’
    • ‘He seems thus to be further pressing the case for himself as experimentalist modern, while betraying some anxiety that his devices will be seen as mere mannerism.’
    • ‘And what enhances the quality of the show is Jhansi's ease with dialects and mannerism.’
    • ‘Hunter Shooting at Birds bares the unmistakable influence of Rembrandt in its mannerism, but its unity of body and gun is entirely modern.’
    • ‘Newman's amount of dialogue in the film is minimal and much of the role is conveyed through mannerism and action, yet he seems to settle into the role with ease.’
    • ‘Meier provided her own tone and mannerism for each of these four characters.’
    • ‘All has not by any means been praise; critics have on occasion thought the poetry monotone, close to mannerism, too determinedly dour or black-humored.’
    • ‘He relies on voice and mannerism when impersonating Chris Eubank and Loyd Grossman, as well as old favourites Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali.’
    • ‘However, his music failed to evolve stylistically after the early 1830s and he was often charged with mannerism by less sympathetic critics.’
    • ‘It is like some wavering memory whose forgotten bits have been substituted with pop mannerism.’
    • ‘He has been compared to the likes of Paul Newman, Harrison Ford and has been heralded as a timeless, classic leading man, without movie star mannerism.’
    • ‘While the women's roles have been depicted with nuances and texture, his is all bluster and mannerism, with no depth.’
    • ‘Johnson plays the innate clumsiness and discomfort that we'd expect to accompany a recent bodily acquisition like this with apparent ease and deft comedic mannerism.’
    • ‘She treats the opportunity with diligence and skill and dresses it with just the right helping of mannerism that passes for great acting.’
    • ‘In the early days John was routinely accused of glibness, superficiality, mannerism, of Pop-Art vacancy and amorality.’
    • ‘It doesn't adhere - and barely refers - to any codified technique, thus dodging the trap of arty mannerism.’
  • 3A style of 16th-century Italian art preceding the Baroque, characterized by unusual effects of scale, lighting, and perspective, and the use of bright, often lurid colors. It is particularly associated with the work of Pontormo, Vasari,and the later Michelangelo.

    • ‘Ideas from abroad - notably the playful distortions of Italian Mannerism - eventually crowd into the tradition established by Van Eyck, upsetting its careful measure.’
    • ‘Out of the art of the High Renaissance there developed a style characterized by a sense of extreme elegance and grace, which became known as Mannerism.’
    • ‘In its writhing poses, the Massacre, in particular, stands out as testament to Bonifacio's avant-garde enthusiasm for Mannerism.’
    • ‘Friedlaender felt uncertain about the term ‘Baroque,’ preferring to point out its viability as an alternative to the contortions and non-normative aspects of Mannerism.’
    • ‘She had little formal education but travelled widely in Europe where her somewhat dramatic taste led to an interest in Italian Mannerism, German Romanticism, Pre-Raphaelitism, and the decadents.’