Definition of penmanship in US English:



  • 1The art or skill of writing by hand.

    • ‘As I searched for more information, I wound reels of microfilm through microfilm readers until my elbow ached and my eyes blurred from deciphering the faded penmanship of long-dead army record-keepers.’
    • ‘I would almost suggest this young chap take up writing instead of drawing, but one look at this penmanship and I know that would be just as futile a pursuit.’
    • ‘All uncollected prizes for art, poetry, and penmanship can be collected from the parish office.’
    • ‘Instead of the smooth, cursive penmanship he was used to, he saw large, printed letters.’
    • ‘What interests me in this conversation is the attitude towards conformity and individuality, and the resistance that the idea of universal penmanship skills raises.’
    • ‘It was a small white envelope, his address written with golden cursive penmanship.’
    • ‘They were set down with neat penmanship on small pieces of white paper decorated with hearts, flowers and blue ribbons.’
    • ‘The rest of the morning was filled with academic lessons: Math, History, Poetry, Greek, Latin, Gaelic, English and penmanship.’
    • ‘Every six weeks, semester, or year, we receive a scorecard as to how we have performed against the standards of penmanship, scientific understanding, and corporate budgets.’
    • ‘Upon this paper was only a single word, his name, and it was crafted in a fine golden penmanship.’
    • ‘Her writing was laborious and she disliked penmanship lessons most of all, so naturally she was enthusiastic about a walk.’
    • ‘Two powerful groups have opposed the teaching of penmanship - the techno-enthusiasts and the progressive educators.’
    • ‘The sunlight was bright on his face, but he ignored the glare, his attention fixed mainly on the scratchy penmanship appearing beneath his quill pen, and occasionally, on the inkpot resting at his foot.’
    • ‘There are some who would argue that the telephone and, more recently, email have destroyed the art of good penmanship in letter writing.’
    • ‘Although this was the first time I had been late in my seventeen years of life, she was one of those rigid teachers who loathed latecomers and expected everyone to have her neat perfect penmanship.’
    • ‘Writing them out may have been partly an exercise in penmanship - he employed the flourishes of someone who is proud of a newly acquired skill - but the Rules were also obviously meant to be learned.’
    • ‘The main skill they needed was good penmanship.’
    • ‘These penmanship skills were part of both boys’ and girls' education.’
    • ‘It was printed in what seemed to be manually-written impeccably neat cursive penmanship - very impressive.’
    • ‘‘You have beautiful penmanship,’ I looked up at him.’
    1. 1.1 A person's handwriting.
      • ‘Her professors used to tease her about her careful penmanship, told her all real doctors had illegible scrawl, but she would just smile and tell them patients appreciate knowing what their prescription slips actually said.’
      • ‘I could retrain myself over a period of months and beat my scrawl towards something resembling readable penmanship but I think I'm just going to throw out all my writing utensils.’
      • ‘Even the sweetest letters I get nowadays look rushed, and the penmanship isn't good.’
      • ‘When I sat down, I was surprised to find the words flying around my head, begging to be the next one scrawled on the page in my less-than-perfect penmanship.’
      • ‘That physical link - from the writer's heart and pen through the courier's hand to your own - gave a life to letters, and an intimacy born of penmanship and pensiveness.’
      • ‘He wore a yellow plastic name tag upon which he had scrawled ‘Jerry’ in kindergarten penmanship.’
      • ‘Looking down at the paper in his lap, he could see how it resembled Claria's penmanship that he had read so many times in love letters.’
      • ‘Unfolding the letter, she was overcome by surprise that his penmanship had improved greatly.’
      • ‘Her eyes teared over when she read the words, scrawled in Adam's familiar penmanship.’
      • ‘Her eyes sped across the paper, taking in every letter of her cramped penmanship.’
      handwriting, writing, hand, autograph, pen, letters, longhand, calligraphy, chirography
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