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

Much better, for instance, than the childish stuffed animals that so many girls affected, or the giant stuffed footballs or beer kegs that could be bought at the college bookstore. Louise Erdrich, The New Yorker, "The Stone," 2 Sep. 2019 How to deal with the worst behavior on a plane If you're seated next to a passenger behaving badly, here's how to handle it: Ask politely: When your fellow passengers behave in a childish way, ask them to stop. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "The worst-behaved people on a plane? Hint: It's not babies," 30 Aug. 2019 And their children, who weren’t quite old enough to get it, got it in a childish way, by playing a game upstairs. Ed Symkus,, "A very different kind of Beatles movie," 20 June 2019 This was very, very childish, for our president to say that. Jim Daley, Scientific American, "Brazil’s Sacked Space Director Speaks Out on Attacks on Science," 7 Aug. 2019 That the tweet included such hashtags as #Nonsense, #RepeatOffender, and #MakeanExampleof was childish. Peter Abraham,, "A familiar name made his own path to the big leagues," 22 June 2019 Hofmann was known to be strict, sometimes tearing up his students’ drawings, so the deliberate act of slicing with scissors provided a kind of childish delight. S.h., The Economist, "Lee Krasner’s colourful, creative destruction," 17 June 2019 To them, 30-year-old Jordan was JJ: childish and searching, damaged and vulnerable to delusions. Evan Allen,, "The twisted, fatal journey of the accused Appalachian Trail killer," 25 May 2019 Underneath, Ruiz’s childish charm kept fighting against the crushing tide of instant celebrity. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Boxing champ Andy Ruiz Jr. rewrites script for Imperial, himself," 21 June 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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Statistics for childish

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for childish

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

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More Definitions for childish



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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More from Merriam-Webster on childish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for childish

Spanish Central: Translation of childish

Nglish: Translation of childish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of childish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on childish

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recurring in steady succession

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