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Mannerism   /mˈænərˌɪzəm/   Listen
Mannerism

noun
1.
A behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual.  Synonyms: foible, idiosyncrasy.
2.
A deliberate pretense or exaggerated display.  Synonyms: affectation, affectedness, pose.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Mannerism" Quotes from Famous Books



... right temper to seek out small sequestered loveliness. The constant recurrence of similar combinations of colour and outline gradually forces upon us a sense of how the harmony has been built up, and we become familiar with something of nature's mannerism. This is the true pleasure of your 'rural voluptuary,'—not to remain awe-stricken before a Mount Chimborazo; not to sit deafened over the big drum in the orchestra, but day by day to teach himself some new beauty—to experience some new vague and tranquil sensation ...
— Essays of Travel • Robert Louis Stevenson

... apprenticed to Hudson, the first portrait-painter of his time in England. But hardly two years had elapsed before the master saw himself eclipsed, and the two separated without great waste of love on the part of Hudson. From that moment, Reynolds's career was decided. He put the mannerism of his former master away from his pictures when he distanced himself from his studio, and, going soon after to the Continent, devoted himself to the study of great works of art. With what vigor ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... replied, "but you were well recommended." The old man's manner, his emotion, his earnestness, somewhat embarrassed her. "Why does he look at me so earnestly?" she thought. Perhaps it was a mannerism peculiar to a man of ...
— The Music Master - Novelized from the Play • Charles Klein

... "Asolando" and "Demeter," those shrivelled blossoms from the stout old laurels touched with frost of winter and old age. But I find little to dwell upon in either of them. Browning has more sap of life—Tennyson more ripe and mellow mastery. Each is here in the main reproducing his mannerism. ...
— Margot Asquith, An Autobiography: Volumes I & II • Margot Asquith

... for awhile, and then if he became a little restless, moved under a new thought, he would slip his finger meditatively over his nose to the corner of the other eye. It did not signify anything in particular, merely an unconscious mannerism. Some men pull their hair, others gnaw their under lip, and with him it was a queer little way of rubbing ...
— The Glory Of The Conquered • Susan Glaspell

... because she has done everything in her power to prevent it. But if you steadily pursue your object, carrying your pursuit even as far as importunity, follow her wherever she goes and where you can see her; if you take it upon yourself not to allude to your passion, and treat her with all the mannerism of an attentive follower, respectful, but impressed, what will happen? She will be unable to refuse you the courtesies due any indifferent acquaintance. Women possess an inexhaustible fund of kindness for those who love them. You know this well, you men, ...
— Life, Letters, and Epicurean Philosophy of Ninon de L'Enclos, - the Celebrated Beauty of the Seventeenth Century • Robinson [and] Overton, ed. and translation.

... example of such perfection? Always easy, always lucid, always correct, we may find them; but who is the writer, easy, lucid, and correct, who has not impregnated his writing with something of that personal flavour which we call mannerism? To speak of authors well known to all readers—Does not The Rambler taste of Johnson; The Decline and Fall, of Gibbon; The Middle Ages, of Hallam; The History of England, of Macaulay; and The Invasion of the Crimea, of Kinglake? Do we not know ...
— Thackeray • Anthony Trollope

... glanced away, glanced at him again with the old, sweet expression of childlike innocence which had so often made him wonder whether it was merely a mannerism, or was a trick, or was indeed a beam from a pure soul. "I'm foolish still—in certain ...
— The Grain Of Dust - A Novel • David Graham Phillips

... power, infinite variety is the characteristic of Dante's style, as it is of his invention. With a stronger individuality than any poet of any age or country, there is not a trace of mannerism in all his poem. The stern, the tender, the grand, simple exposition, fierce satire, and passionate appeal have each their appropriate words and their appropriate cadence. This Cary did not perceive, and has told the stories ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 118, August, 1867 • Various

... and the eccentricities of the age. As a specimen of prose style it is remarkable for its spirit and "go," qualities which may enable us to forget how turbid, ungraceful, and harsh it is. Nash had now dropped the mannerism of the Euphuists; he had hardly gained a style of his own. "Pierce Penniless," with its chains of "letter-leaping metaphors," rattles breathlessly on, and at length abruptly ceases. Any sense of the artistic fashioning of a sentence, or of the relative harmony of the parts of a composition, was ...
— The Vnfortunate Traveller, or The Life Of Jack Wilton - With An Essay On The Life And Writings Of Thomas Nash By Edmund Gosse • Thomas Nash

... brought sympathy to maturity in England; the Netherlands had given birth to landscape painting, and France had the splendid poetic landscapes of Claude Lorraine. But the idealism thus reached soon degenerated into mannerism and artificiality, the ...
— The Development of the Feeling for Nature in the Middle Ages and - Modern Times • Alfred Biese

... most important writers,—one of the few, in fact, that will be remembered by posterity. Among his best liked stories are "Death," "The Federal Capital," "Paradise," "The Conquest," and "Mirage." Netto's short stories are very popular; at one time every other youth in Brazil was imitating his every mannerism. He is particularly felicitous in his descriptions of tropical nature, which teem with glowing life and ...
— Brazilian Tales • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

... the change of belief, which was wrought outside of them, is plainly visible in the change in the style of Art. Byzantine models stiffened, formalized, and gradually destroyed the spirit of the early paintings. Richness of vestment and mannerism of expression took the place of simplicity and straightforwardness. The Art which is still the popular Art in Italy began to exhibit its lower round of subjects. Saints of all kinds were preferred to the personages of Scripture. The time of suffering and trial having ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... But the stiff mannerism of the patriarchal system which survived until recently from the early Roman times gave him that formal tone and authoritative manner which are so characteristic of his conversation in private. His deliberate but unhesitating speech makes one think of Goethe's ...
— Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 - Studies from the Chronicles of Rome • Francis Marion Crawford

... my Davis Cup trip happened to be "Peach" for any particularly good shot by my opponent. The gallery at the Championship, quick to appreciate any mannerism of a player, and to, know him by it, enjoyed the remark on many occasions as the ball went floating by me. In my match with Kingscote in the final set, the court was very slippery owing to the heavy drizzle ...
— The Art of Lawn Tennis • William T. Tilden, 2D

... loveliness of such effects. There may have been fogs for centuries in London. I dare say there were. But no one saw them, and so we do not know anything about them. They did not exist till Art had invented them. Now, it must be admitted, fogs are carried to excess. They have become the mere mannerism of a clique, and the exaggerated realism of their method gives dull people bronchitis. Where the cultured catch an effect, the uncultured catch cold. And so, let us be humane, and invite Art to turn her wonderful eyes ...
— Selected Prose of Oscar Wilde - with a Preface by Robert Ross • Oscar Wilde

... place. He spread out the diagram, finishing it as he talked. His nervous, faint smile appeared as the mannerism of embarrassment it was. ...
— The Machine That Saved The World • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... recorded nor can be known. This holds, also, with regard to the theatre music. We can merely guess at what his employers asked him to provide. We can never know the means they placed at his disposal. One significant thing must be noted here: the music itself—its style, spirit, even mannerism—affords us no trustworthy clue as to when any particular piece may have been written. For ages the biographical copyists have not ceased to marvel at a boy of fourteen writing the Macbeth music. It is silly rubbish, with which I believe Purcell had nothing whatever ...
— Purcell • John F. Runciman

... written in the harsh rigid lines of his face, was marked by the way in which he walked, in which he sat, in which he stood, and, above all, in which he bowed." The Whig historian, here following the Whig tradition, formed his estimate of the whole man from what was merely a parliamentary mannerism. Pitt, as we have seen, was a prey to shyness and gaucherie; and the rigid attitude which he adopted for the House was not so much the outcome of a sense of superiority (though he had an able man's consciousness of worth) as a screen to hide those defects. A curiously stilted manner has been the ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... misfortune had not curbed it. I had not learned to be charitable. When I was a child I used to ride with my father to the hunts at St. Gre, and I was too ready to pick out the weaknesses of his guests. If one of the company had a trick or a mannerism, I never failed to catch it. People used to ask me what I thought of such and such a person, and that was bad for me. I saw their failings and pretensions, but I ignored my own. It was the same at Abbaye ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... most careful not to indicate by some mannerism that his hand is trickless. By pulling a card before it is his turn to play, by apparent lack of interest, or by allowing himself to be wrapped in gloom, he may give the Declarer as much information as if he spread his hand ...
— Auction of To-day • Milton C. Work

... a politician who had acquired a mannerism of fingering a button on his coat while talking to an audience. On one occasion some friends surreptitiously cut the particular button off, and the result was that the speaker when he stood up to address the audience lost the ...
— Talks on Talking • Grenville Kleiser

... selected. In his Op. 28 Beethoven seems to have evolved the themes of all four movements from the first; in Op. 106 and Op. 109, connection is clear between the first and last movements. Such an experiment was safe in the hands of Beethoven, and Brahms has never allowed it to become a mannerism; but second-rate composers, and superficial listeners run the danger of mistaking the shadow for the substance. To this matter we shall, however, soon return. Many references have been made to the composers who have influenced Brahms, yet we cannot resist naming one more. The ...
— The Pianoforte Sonata - Its Origin and Development • J.S. Shedlock

... the vow made to them in Egypt, but sinks to accents of awe when they reflect upon the incidents of their former serfdom. Now Samson stands forth. In a broad arioso, half recitative, half cantilena, wholly in the oratorio style when it does not drop into the mannerism of Meyerbeerian opera, he admonishes his brethren of their need to trust in God, their duty to worship Him, of His promises to aid them, of the wonders that He had already wrought in their behalf; he bids them to put off their doubts and put on their ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... peeled, meagre and creaking—depravity so sincere. Crime certainly had not been spared around the world to furnish its living actors for Treasure Island Inn. All the ragtag was there—not a lust nor a mannerism missing. ...
— Fate Knocks at the Door - A Novel • Will Levington Comfort

... by his insistence and iteration goes about to spoil for us the "flower-soft hands" of Cleopatra's rudder-maiden; but he shall not spoil Shakespeare's phrase for us. And behold, in all this fundamental fumbling Swinburne's critics saw only a "mannerism," if they saw even thus ...
— Hearts of Controversy • Alice Meynell

... that Mr. Kenyon should misrepresent me so. Euphuisms there may be to the end of the world—affected parlances—just as a fop at heart may go without shoestrings to mimic the distractions of some great wandering soul—although that is a bad comparison, seeing that what is called Carlyle's mannerism, is not his dress, but his ...
— The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846 • Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

... result of over-indulgence in liquor or want of rest; he is thin and poorly clad, his face is cleanly shaven. At every pause in his speech he runs his fingers through his thick dishevelled black hair, and finishes this mannerism with wiping his forehead with the back of his hand. His delivery is awkward and these ...
— The Transgressors - Story of a Great Sin • Francis A. Adams

... ten thousand ceremonial observances to which natives attach so vast an importance. He must grow to understand each one of the hints and doubles ententes, of which Malays make such frequent use, every little mannerism, sign and token, and, most difficult of all, every motion of the hearts, and every turn of thought, of those whom he is beginning to call his own people. He must become conscious of native Public Opinion, which is often diametrically ...
— In Court and Kampong - Being Tales and Sketches of Native Life in the Malay Peninsula • Hugh Clifford

... principle. Her good sense enabled her to move among these people as a studious observer of this aspect of human nature, neither adopting their costume nor imitating their manners. She was very unostentatious and simple in her style of dress, and never, in the slightest degree, affected the mannerism of ...
— Madame Roland, Makers of History • John S. C. Abbott

... was extremely effective. Mr. Tree is the perfect Proteus of actors. He can wear the dress of any century and the appearance of any age, and has a marvellous capacity of absorbing his personality into the character he is creating. To have method without mannerism is given only to a few, but among the few is Mr. Tree. Miss Alma Murray does not possess the physique requisite for our conception of Helen, but the beauty of her movements and the extremely sympathetic quality of her voice ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... beauty. Their image of reality is sharp and clear, but distorted. Burlesque and satire are never far away in their most serious moments. Not even the calmest and best ordered of Spanish minds can resist a tendency to excess of all sorts, to over-elaboration, to grotesquerie, to deadening mannerism. All that is greatest in their art, indeed, lies on the borderland of the extravagant, where sublime things skim the thin ice of absurdity. The great epic, Don Quixote, such plays as Calderon's La Vida es Sueno, such ...
— Rosinante to the Road Again • John Dos Passos

... possessed an extremely unconventional and bizarre mind. She was deeply tinged by the mysticism of Blake, and strongly influenced by the mannerism of Emerson. The very gesture with which she tied her bonnet-strings, preparatory to one of her nun-like walks in her garden at Amherst, must have had something dreamy and Emersonian in it. She had much fancy of a quaint kind, but only, ...
— Ponkapog Papers • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... the chart like a boy investigating a new mechanical toy. He was so interested that he forgot himself and pushed his hair straight back off his forehead with the gesture that had become an unconscious mannerism, spoiling utterly the plastered effect which he had with so much pains given to his hair. But Hank and the fireman were neither suspicious nor observing, and only laughed at his exuberance, which they believed was going to die a violent death when Jack had ...
— The Lookout Man • B. M. Bower

... way. Whenever he had any business on hand that kept him from his ship, he invariably spoke in short, jerky sentences. Ross knew his parent's little mannerism. ...
— The Submarine Hunters - A Story of the Naval Patrol Work in the Great War • Percy F. Westerman

... Gibbon poured balm upon my bruises by condescending once or twice in the course of the evening to talk with me. The great historian was light and playful, suiting his matter to the capacity of the boy: but it was done more suo—still his mannerism prevailed, still he tapped his snuff-box, still he smirked and smiled, and rounded his periods with the same air of good-breeding, as if he were conversing with men. His mouth, mellifluous as Plato's, was a round hole nearly in the centre of his visage." ...
— Gibbon • James Cotter Morison

... a mannerism which amused the House at the time, but did nothing to obscure the genuine qualities of Sir Walter, or lessen the esteem in which he was held. It cannot be said that the House of Commons was habitually ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 28, April 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... the same time a frank cheerfulness and engaging affability. Their brothers were tall, and elegantly formed. They were dressed fashionably, but simply—with strict neatness and propriety, but without any mannerism or foppishness. Their whole demeanor was easy and natural, with that lofty grace and noble frankness which bespeak free-born souls that have never been checked in their growth by feelings of inferiority. There is a healthful hardiness about ...
— The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. • Washington Irving

... penetrating, and occasionally wore a sad, sympathetic look. His hands and feet betokened that he had sprung from a physical working race, though there was nothing of the animal about him, and in spite of a gruff, uncultured mannerism, he either had it naturally or had acquired almost a grammatical way of addressing people when he wished to assert what he obviously regarded as the dignity of his high calling. This effort to check a natural tendency ...
— The Shellback's Progress - In the Nineteenth Century • Walter Runciman

... longer possible for us to continue to live much longer on the outskirts of society—on the outskirts of life almost—under the penalty of justifying the contempt felt for us, and of despising ourselves. For, after all, is it a life we lead? And are not the independence, the freedom of mannerism of which we boast so loudly, very mediocre advantages? True liberty consists of being able to dispense with the aid of others, and to exist by oneself, and have we got to that? No, the first scoundrel, whose name we would not bear for five minutes, avenges ...
— Bohemians of the Latin Quarter • Henry Murger

... Leigh Hunt is excellently qualified for the task which he has now undertaken. His style, in spite of its mannerism, nay, partly by reason of its mannerism, is well suited for light, garrulous, desultory ana, half critical, half biographical. We do not always agree with his literary judgments; but we find in ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... pinxit' decides their authorship. The histories of the Virgin, S. Stephen and S. Lawrence, are represented: but the injuries of time and neglect have been so great that it is difficult to judge them fairly. All we feel for certain is that Masolino had not yet escaped from the traditional Giottesque mannerism. Only a group of Jews stoning Stephen, and Lawrence before the tribunal, remind us by dramatic energy of ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... the world, as bearing on the general question of their honesty, and of their internal belief in their religious professions. First, I will say that when I became a Catholic, nothing struck me more at once than the English outspoken manner of the priests. There was nothing of that smoothness or mannerism which is commonly imputed to them. Next, I was struck, when I had more opportunity of judging of the priests, by the simple faith in the Catholic creed and system, of which they always give evidence, ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... drapery will be left;—drapery made redundant in quantity and rigid in fold, that it may conceal the forms, and give a proud or ascetic reserve to the actions, of the bodily frame. Bellini and his school, indeed, rejected at once the false theory, and the easy mannerism, of such religious design; and painted the body without fear or reserve, as, in its subordination, honorable and lovely. But the inner heart and fire of it are by them always first thought of, and no action is given to it merely to show its ...
— Aratra Pentelici, Seven Lectures on the Elements of Sculpture - Given before the University of Oxford in Michaelmas Term, 1870 • John Ruskin

... veriest daub, if its subject be attractive, is enjoyed no less thoroughly. There are prigs of course, the children of the "prignorant," who babble of Botticelli, and profess to disdain any picture not conceived with "high art" mannerism. Yet even these will forget their pretence, and roar over a Comic Cuts found on the seat of a railway carriage, or stand delighted before some unspeakable poster of a melodrama. It is well to face the plain fact that the most ...
— Children's Books and Their Illustrators • Gleeson White

... or vehicle for the admission of light. Read "words" for tracery, "thought" for light, and we see how inspiration avenges itself so soon as diction is made paramount; artifice, which demands and misses watchful self-concealment, passes into mannerism; we have lost the incalculable charm of spontaneity. Comparison of "Eothen" with the "Crimea" will I think exemplify this truth. The first, to use Matthew Arnold's imagery, is Attic, the last has declined to the Corinthian; it remains a great, an amazingly great production; ...
— Biographical Study of A. W. Kinglake • Rev. W. Tuckwell

... except through the dicta of certain ecclesiastic bodies, and that the language which touches it must not be that every-day language which mirrors the vitality of our thought, but should have some twist of that theologic mannerism, which is as cold to the boy as to the busy ...
— Dream Life - A Fable Of The Seasons • Donald G. Mitchell

... a full explanation of his mannerism; but the fact that a man with the desire for chess should have grown up without being able to see or engage in a game astonished her not a little. She pondered on the circumstance for some time, looking into vacancy and ...
— A Pair of Blue Eyes • Thomas Hardy



Words linked to "Mannerism" :   specialty, attitude, simulation, pose, feigning, peculiarity, pretence, pretending, radical chic, speciality, affectation, pretense, idiosyncrasy, distinctiveness, specialness



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