pose, air, airs, affectation, mannerism mean an adopted way of speaking or behaving. pose implies an attitude deliberately assumed in order to impress others <her shyness was just a pose>. air may suggest natural acquirement through environment or way of life <a traveler's sophisticated air>. airs always implies artificiality and pretentiousness <snobbish airs>. affectation applies to a trick of speech or behavior that strikes the observer as insincere <the posh accent is an affectation>. mannerism applies to an acquired eccentricity that has become a habit <gesturing with a cigarette was her most noticeable mannerism>.