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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Joshua Wolf Coleman is delightful in his childish complaints about Wharton’s beloved dogs, his demands for Posy’s assistance with the most mundane activities, and his constant need for attention. Terry Byrne,, 15 July 2022 Closer examination, though, reveals the kind of childish jokes that have made the 49-year-old rapper an easy target for criticism in recent years. Kenan Draughorne, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2022 Jonathan Anderson and the Prada duo leaned into childish innocence, with the first focusing on silliness and play and the latter on boyish proportions. José Criales-unzueta, Vogue, 30 June 2022 Lurking in these memories is my childish realization of something my mother knew as an adult: how thin the divide is that exists between safety and danger. New York Times, 12 May 2022 Tim Robbins is totally believable as Nuke, the childish young pitcher Crash has been assigned to mentor. Matt Caputo, SPIN, 7 Apr. 2022 Embedded in these brutal games is the childish logic — perfectly rational in their circumstances — that savagery is a prerequisite for love. Hillary Kelly, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2022 The idea that one country could be the best in the world is such a childish and embarrassing concept. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 24 June 2022 This standard ballad of devotion might have fared better without such a childish title and chorus, which really just sounds dopey coming from a then-17-year-old. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 22 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near childish

childing pink


child labor

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Last Updated

27 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Childish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for childish


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

More from Merriam-Webster on childish

Nglish: Translation of childish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of childish for Arabic Speakers


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