One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a woman) having characteristics that are stereotypically associated with men and can be considered unbecoming in a woman.
manlike, masculine, unfeminine, unwomanly, unladylike, amazonianView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘Innocent blondes, corrupted by wolfish brunettes with mannish haircuts and tight, tight sweaters, stare wide-eyed at the reader.’
- ‘‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The main female character in this tale is stocky and mannish (with a little mustache) and carries pimple medicine in her knapsack.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘For six years, they had worn the square, mannish fashions the desperate times required - and they had had enough.’
- ‘At the time, a group of us used to dress in mannish suits as a homage to Frida.’
- ‘If you wear mannish trousers, a coat with flared skirt will look too feminine.’
- ‘She was very mannish, and what we were taught was that those masculine traits were evil - and that her evil was somehow infectious.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘I expect Kylie would look quite fetching in any part of the collection, however, particularly in comparison with some mannish catwalk models.’
- ‘Yes, tomboyish girls are cute, but isn't it an insult to call a woman mannish?’
- ‘The grey slouch pants are mannish in wide cut, yet here are styled to retain a feminine appealing look.’
- ‘Charlotte Gainsbourg, who carries so well the mannish shirt mantle passed down by her mother Jane Birkin, works the look perfectly.’
- ‘They are mostly oversized double-breasted jackets, almost-baggy trousers and mannish topcoats.’
- ‘There are things that I like about being a woman that I wouldn't give up just to be considered more mannish.’
Old English mennisc ‘human’ (see man, -ish). The current sense dates from late Middle English.
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