Meaning of “childish” in the English Dictionary

"childish" in British English

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childishadjective

uk /ˈtʃaɪl.dɪʃ/ us /ˈtʃaɪl.dɪʃ/

B2 typical of a child:

childish handwriting

B2 disapproving If an adult is childish, they behave badly in a way that would be expected of a child:

He wasn't enjoying the occasion so he thought he'd spoil it for everyone else - it was very childish of him.
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More examples

  • How very childish of her to refuse to speak to me!
  • I've had enough of your childish pranks.
  • "Stop this childish nonsense at once!" he shouted furiously.
  • Don't be so childish - just give me the keys and stop messing about.
  • She said we should be ashamed of our childish behaviour - fighting over who got the last strawberry.
childishly
adverb uk /ˈtʃaɪl.dɪʃ.li/ us /ˈtʃaɪl.dɪʃ.li/ disapproving
childishness
noun [ U ] uk /ˈtʃaɪl.dɪʃ.nəs/ us /ˈtʃaɪl.dɪʃ.nəs/ disapproving

(Definition of “childish” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"childish" in American English

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childishadjective

us /ˈtʃɑɪl·dɪʃ/

like or typical of a child, or intended for children:

a childish body
The pictures made the magazine look childish.

When you describe the behavior of an adult or an older child as childish, you mean the person is behaving in a foolish way that is typical of a young child’s behavior.

childishly
adverb us /ˈtʃɑɪl·dɪʃ·li/

Kate is 43, but she can be childishly impatient.

(Definition of “childish” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)