child·​ish | \ ˈchī(-ə)l-dish How to pronounce childish (audio) \

Definition of childish

1 : of, relating to, or befitting a child or childhood childish desires for toys
2a : marked by or suggestive of immaturity and lack of poise a childish spiteful remark
b : lacking complexity : simple it's a childish device, but it works
c : deteriorated with age especially in mind : senile his parents … were both getting childish and needed care— Pearl Buck

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Other Words from childish

childishly adverb
childishness noun

Examples of childish in a Sentence

She has a childish face. a letter written in childish scrawl He opened the gifts with childish delight. We're tired of their childish games. I find his humor very childish.
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Recent Examples on the Web Those Jets were inventing the American teen-age experience, coming alive to the possibility of power and control in a world where adult authority had crumbled; their bragging felt childish, all hot talk, until, suddenly, the game got real. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "A Grim Take on “West Side Story”," 21 Feb. 2020 And my childish need to fit in made me feel even more like an outsider: A person from everywhere, but who belonged nowhere. Jennifer Zyman, Bon Appétit, "I Went Looking for My Mexican Identity and Found It at Atlanta’s Plaza Fiesta," 13 Feb. 2020 Also coming for the party is Vincent’s childless — and occasionally childish — brother, Romain (Vincent Macaigne), who has brought his new Argentinean flame, Rosita (Isabel Aime Gonzalez-Sola). Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Happy Birthday' ('Fete de famille'): Film Review," 7 Oct. 2019 Their music is loud, boring, tasteless, unimaginative and childish. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Survival of Iggy Pop," 26 Aug. 2019 Whaley on Wednesday afternoon civilly responded to a childish and partisan Twitter attack from Trump. Jason Williams,, "PX column: She's shown compassion and stood up to Trump. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has been a rock star. What's it mean for her future?," 8 Aug. 2019 During the campaign, Kasich presented himself as an adult compared to Trump’s childish antics. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "2015, OSU wins championship, Kasich launches presidential run: Biggest stories of the 2010s," 22 Dec. 2019 The childish and tiresome President Trump-bashing diatribe from the letter writers seems to be de rigueur in The Denver Post. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Pay for C-470 project at pumps; Missing the point on emissions standards; Consider the context; The choice is clear: Safety measures should be mandatory (9/27/19)," 27 Sep. 2019 Stephanie Harvey If the child seems childish, there’s a good reason for that. Do not allow yourself to be baited., "But we also asked you — parents and grandparents, teachers and innocent bystanders — for advice: How have you dealt with rude kids? What secrets do you know that can help the rest of us?," 26 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'childish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of childish

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for childish

see child

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Time Traveler for childish

Time Traveler

The first known use of childish was before the 12th century

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Statistics for childish

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Childish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for childish


How to pronounce childish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of childish

: of a child or typical of a child especially, disapproving : having or showing the unpleasant qualities (such as silliness or lack of maturity) that children often have


child·​ish | \ ˈchīl-dish How to pronounce childish (audio) \

Kids Definition of childish

1 : of, like, or thought to be suitable to children childish laughter
2 : showing the less pleasing qualities (as silliness) often thought to be those of children a childish prank

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