pen·​man·​ship | \ ˈpen-mən-ˌship How to pronounce penmanship (audio) \

Definition of penmanship

1 : the art or practice of writing with the pen
2 : quality or style of handwriting

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Synonyms for penmanship


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Examples of penmanship in a Sentence

My third grade teacher thought it was important for us to learn penmanship. doctors are famous for their illegible penmanship
Recent Examples on the Web After years of retreat, state legislatures are beginning to reintroduce penmanship into elementary school curriculum. Abha Bhattarai, Washington Post, "The art of imperfection: People are turning to robots to write their ‘handwritten’ cards," 21 Dec. 2019 For the numbers on the check, in Chinese penmanship. Adrienne Su, The New Yorker, "An Hour Later, You’re Hungry Again," 18 Nov. 2019 Those that knew Helen could count on receiving thoughtful notes in her perfect cursive penmanship., "Helen Rogers," 20 June 2019 In his spare time, McVay drew X’s and O’s on the white boards in the meeting rooms—obsessed with writing each letter with impeccable penmanship. Greg Bishop,, "The Forgettable Years of a Coaching Staff to Remember," 23 Aug. 2019 Through the diligent efforts of those billboard cows with their poor penmanship and dubious spelling skills, Chick-fil-A has moved up the ranks from the seventh-largest restaurant chain in the United States to become the third. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, "The sky is falling for fast food, but not for Chick-fil-A. Here’s why.," 19 June 2019 Once again, there was no clear winner, but everyone agreed that penmanship counts. Deb Amlen, New York Times, "Puzzle Lovers Find Their Tribe at a Crossword Tournament," 26 Mar. 2018 An endorsement from Oprah Winfrey and a sold-out, rockstar-style book tour are testaments to the penmanship of the invincible activist. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Michelle Obama's Memoir "Becoming" Is Already the Best-Selling Hardcover Book of 2018," 1 Dec. 2018 DelRosario's work exhaustively documenting Carey's art around town and encouraging the artist to put his unique penmanship on paper gave the duo an excellent starting point. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "How do you preserve beloved New Orleans folk art? A Web font, of course," 23 Nov. 2018

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

1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for penmanship

Time Traveler

The first known use of penmanship was in 1695

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Statistics for penmanship

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Penmanship.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for penmanship


How to pronounce penmanship (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of penmanship

: the art or practice of writing by hand
: the quality or style of someone's handwriting


pen·​man·​ship | \ ˈpen-mən-ˌship How to pronounce penmanship (audio) \

Kids Definition of penmanship

: style or quality of handwriting

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More from Merriam-Webster on penmanship

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for penmanship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with penmanship

Spanish Central: Translation of penmanship

Nglish: Translation of penmanship for Spanish Speakers

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