childlike


childlike
childlike, childish agree in meaning having or showing the manner, spirit, or disposition of a child. Both are applicable to adolescents and to adults as well as to children.
Childlike, however, usually suggests such qualities of childhood as innocence, simplicity, or straightforwardness which are worthy of admiration or emulation; childish suggests such less pleasing and less admirable characteristics as helplessness, peevishness, or undeveloped mentality
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her arias have the childlike quality Puccini wanted— Hume

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the same thought which clothed in English seems childish, and even foolish, assumes a different air in Latin— Cowper

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was angry with himself for his childish petulance— Hersey

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to lose sight of such distinctions is to show one's self, not childlike, but childishBabbitt

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the earnestness of the young people endows their sketches with a certain charm lacking in their imitators, whose pictures are childish, not childlikeArgus

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Analogous words: naive, unsophisticated, ingenuous, artless (see NATURAL): docile, *obedient, tractable, biddable

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Childlike — Child like (ch[imac]ld l[imac]k ), a. Resembling a child, or that which belongs to children; becoming a child; meek; submissive; dutiful. Childlike obedience. Hooker. [1913 Webster] Note: Childlike, as applied to persons grown up, is commonly in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • childlike — [chīld′līk΄] adj. 1. belonging or suitable to a child 2. like or characteristic of a child; innocent, trusting, etc. childlikeness n. SYN. CHILDLIKE and CHILDISH are both applied to persons of any age in referring to characteristics or qualities… …   English World dictionary

  • childlike — index ingenuous, juvenile, naive, puerility, unaffected (sincere) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • childlike — 1580s, proper to a child, from CHILD (Cf. child) + LIKE (Cf. like). Meaning like a child in a good sense (distinguished from CHILDISH (Cf. childish)) is from 1725 …   Etymology dictionary

  • childlike — [adj] innocent, naive artless, childish, credulous, guileless, immature, ingenuous, natural, simple, spontaneous, trustful, trusting, unaffected, unfeigned; concept 404 Ant. complicated, untrusting …   New thesaurus

  • childlike — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of an adult) having the good qualities, such as innocence, associated with a child …   English terms dictionary

  • childlike — child|like [ˈtʃaıldlaık] adj having qualities that are typical of a child, especially positive qualities such as ↑innocence and eagerness childlike innocence/simplicity/directness ▪ You know I love you, she said with childlike simplicity.… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • childlike — childish, childlike Both words tend now to be used to describe the behaviour of adolescents and adults rather than children. Childish has developed a generally depreciatory meaning ‘having the immature characteristics of a child’, whereas… …   Modern English usage

  • childlike — [[t]tʃa͟ɪldlaɪk[/t]] ADJ GRADED You describe someone as childlike when they seem like a child in their character, appearance, or behaviour. His most enduring quality is his childlike innocence... Her behaviour was childlike and dependent …   English dictionary

  • childlike — adjective 1) his grandmother looked almost childlike Syn: youthful, young, young looking, girlish, boyish 2) geniuses tend to be rather childlike Syn: innocent, artless, guileless, unworldly, unsophisticated, naive …   Thesaurus of popular words


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