mannerism

noun man·ner·ism \ ˈma-nə-ˌri-zəm \

Definition of mannerism

1 a :exaggerated or affected (see affected 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.

mannerist

play \-rist\ noun or adjective

manneristic

play \ˌma-nə-ˈris-tik\ adjective

Examples of mannerism in a Sentence

  1. The actor can mimic the President's mannerisms perfectly.

  2. quirky mannerisms such as toying with her hair and tapping her toes

Recent Examples of mannerism from the Web

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.

First Known Use of mannerism

1800

Synonym Discussion of 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

Other Fine Arts Terms


MANNERISM Defined for English Language Learners

mannerism

noun

Definition of mannerism for English Language Learners

  • : a person's particular way of talking or moving


MANNERISM Defined for Kids

mannerism

noun man·ner·ism \ ˈma-nə-ˌri-zəm \

Definition of mannerism for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

mannerism

noun 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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