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See also: Mannerism


Etymology 1[edit]

manner +‎ -ism


mannerism (plural mannerisms)

  1. A noticeable personal habit, a verbal or other (often, but not necessarily unconscious) habitual behavior peculiar to an individual.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter I, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
      In the old days, to my commonplace and unobserving mind, he gave no evidences of genius whatsoever. He never read me any of his manuscripts, […], and therefore my lack of detection of his promise may in some degree be pardoned. But he had then none of the oddities and mannerisms which I hold to be inseparable from genius, and which struck my attention in after days when I came in contact with the Celebrity.
  2. Exaggerated or affected style in art, speech, or other behavior.
  • APA Dictionary of Psychology, 2007

Etymology 2[edit]

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From Italian manierismo, from maniera, coined by L. Lanzi at the end of the XVIII century.

Alternative forms[edit]


mannerism (countable and uncountable, plural mannerisms)

  1. (art, literature) In literature, an ostentatious and unnatural style of the second half of the sixteenth century. In the contemporary criticism, described as a negation of the classicist equilibrium, pre-Baroque, and deforming expressiveness.
  2. (art, literature) In fine art, a style that is inspired by previous models, aiming to reproduce subjects in an expressive language.