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Definition an unusual behavioral trait
The exact meaning of mannerism can depend upon its context. For example:
  • "a distinctive mannerism" — an unusual behavioral trait such as rubbing the chin while listening to someone
  • "a nervous mannerism" — a distinctive gesture such as thumb twiddling or something else done with hands, body, or voice
  • "an affected mannerism" — an attempt to make an impression by speaking, dressing, behaving, or doing things in an exaggerated or unnatural way

Much more rarely, Mannerism can refer to the Mannerism style of painting — a manner of painting common in 16th-century Europe and characterized by elongated human forms and vivid colors.
  • Several minor mannerisms are apparent when she is nervous.
  • a mannerism she picked up as a pilot
  • The impressionist captured all of her mannerisms.
  • Greco was influenced both by Mannerism and the painting of icons.
  • He recognized the value to him of such a mannerism and he had adopted it; he knew that to be careless in dress and manner required more confidence than to be careful.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Winter Dreams
  • mannerism = a manner (way) of doing things
  • You've borne my guff and my wisecracks and my annoying mannerisms much better than I have any right to expect.
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • And not just her looks, but the way she walked, her mannerisms—stiff, without a hint of joy.
    James Dashner  --  The Maze Runner
  • Upline is a Krio word mostly used in Freetown to refer to the backwardness of the inner country, its inhabitants, and their mannerisms.
    Ishmael Beah  --  A Long Way Gone
  • These were mannerisms appropriate only to dualistic reason.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Her every mannerism represented grace.
    Li Cunxin  --  Mao's Last Dancer
  • The reason why I said that I had a feeling at that point was because I had only seen his back and his mannerisms at that point.
    Alice Sebold  --  Lucky
  • Peter ran a hand through his thick head of silver hair, a nervous mannerism shared by Katherine.
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
  • Many of their mannerisms, pronunciations, and turns of speech had been consciously copied from white Communists whom they had recently met.
    Richard Wright  --  Black Boy
  • He was small and nimble, pacing the school office with his manic yet businesslike movements and mannerisms.
    Markus Zusak  --  The Book Thief
  • The last of the Dragonships resembled an elaborate Chinese junk, which was in line with the elegant mannerisms of the Goblin King and his entourage.
    James A. Owen  --  Here, There be Dragons
  • It was early October when Daniel first entered our home, a gangly, towheaded boy with rough country mannerisms and a shyness I hadn't anticipated.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Longest Ride
  • His mannerisms are unusually stiff, as befitting a man speaking before such a massive audience for the first time.
    Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard  --  Killing Kennedy
  • To Thomas, everyone's actions and mannerisms seemed .... exaggerated.
    James Dashner  --  The Death Cure
  • You learn to pick up on mannerisms, or looks that last just a little too long.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • Not so much in your appearance, but in your mannerisms.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Lucky One

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