man·ner·ism | \ ˈma-nə-ˌri-zəm \

Definition of mannerism 

1a : exaggerated or affected (see affected sense 1) adherence to a particular style or manner : artificiality, preciosity refined almost to the point of mannerism —Winthrop Sargeant

b often capitalized : an art style in late 16th century Europe characterized by spatial incongruity and excessive elongation of the human figures

2 : a characteristic and often unconscious mode or peculiarity of action, bearing, or treatment The actor can mimic the President's mannerisms perfectly.

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Other words from mannerism

mannerist \-rist \ noun or adjective
manneristic \ˌma-nə-ˈris-tik \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for mannerism

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

Examples of mannerism in a Sentence

The actor can mimic the President's mannerisms perfectly. quirky mannerisms such as toying with her hair and tapping her toes

Recent Examples on the Web

Ahead, read why Ivanka always makes the same pose and what her other mannerisms mean., "Ivanka Trump Does This Pose In Every Photo & Here's What It Means," 14 June 2018 This is a great place to start, because Paul Rudd has always been a surly teen banished to a grown man's body, with the mannerisms of a 5-year-old (who can relate?). Joshua Rivera, GQ, "Ant-Man and the Wasp," 5 July 2018 The computer program learns how to mimic the person’s facial expressions, mannerisms, voice and inflections. Deb Riechmann, The Seattle Times, "I never said that! High-tech deception of ‘deepfake’ videos," 3 July 2018 It could be forgiven some brutish mannerisms, but its drivability is remarkably small and comfortable. Mark Maynard,, "Nissan NV 3500 High Roof: The sky is the limit," 1 June 2018 But in mannerisms and voice, this guy is too tight, too cautious to be the extravagant, escapist playboy he is said to be. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Jim Parsons and Zachary Quinto Enter Sniping in ‘The Boys in the Band’," 31 May 2018 Humans are hosts, hosts are human, and my brain hurts, so when Redditors noticed the similarities between Grace's (Katja Herbers) mannerisms and Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babett Knudsen), their brains went to work. Kathryn Lindsay,, "There's A New Wild Theory About Grace On Westworld," 14 May 2018 The dancers pendulate between pedestrian mannerisms and formal dance movements as Miller talks about audiobooks by Wallace, or an interview of Morrison by Charlie Rose. Lauren Warnecke,, "'In a Rhythm': Choreographer Bebe Miller talks a lot, the music includes a Nelly hit — it's a fascinating, atypical approach to dance," 6 Apr. 2018 Workers who are out at the office may still mask aspects of their identity, like relationships or mannerisms that are prone to stereotypes. Rachel Siegel,, "Half of LGBTQ workers are still not out at the office, a report says," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mannerism.' 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 mannerism

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for mannerism

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for mannerism

The first known use of mannerism was in 1800

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More Definitions for mannerism



English Language Learners Definition of mannerism

: a person's particular way of talking or moving


man·ner·ism | \ ˈma-nə-ˌri-zəm \

Kids Definition of mannerism

: a habit (as of looking or moving in a certain way) that occurs commonly in a person's behavior


man·ner·ism | \ ˈman-ə-ˌriz-əm \

Medical Definition of mannerism 

: a characteristic and often unconscious mode or peculiarity of action, bearing, or treatment especially : any pointless and compulsive activity performed repeatedly

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