• WordNet 3.6
    • adj mawkish effusively or insincerely emotional "a bathetic novel","maudlin expressions of sympathy","mushy effusiveness","a schmaltzy song","sentimental soap operas","slushy poetry"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Mawkish Apt to cause satiety or loathing; nauseous; slightly nauseating; disgusting. "So sweetly mawkish' , and so smoothly dull."
    • Mawkish Easily disgusted; squeamish; sentimentally fastidious.
    • Mawkish Weakly sentimental; maudlin.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • mawkish Maggoty. [Not found in this literal sense. Compare mawky, 1.] Hence Loathsome; apt to cause loathing or nausea; sickening.
    • mawkish Insipid; sickening; sickly: as, mawkish champagne; mawkish sentimentality.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Mawkish mawk′ish loathsome, disgusting, as anything beginning to breed mawks or maggots
    • ***


  • John Keats
    “I would jump down Etna for any public good -- but I hate a mawkish popularity.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Orig., maggoty. See Mawk
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Explained by Skeat as formed, with suffix -ish, from M. E. mawk, mauk, a contr. form of M. E. maðek, a maggot—Ice. maðkr, a maggot.


In literature:

What a fool, what a weak, mawkish, insipid fool he had made of himself!
"Spring Street" by James H. Richardson
The mawkishness of the sentiment was only surpassed by the feebleness of the style.
"A Book for All Readers" by Ainsworth Rand Spofford
I think the society of women and children very mawkish for a continuance.
"Yr Ynys Unyg" by Julia de Winton
The most mawkish, foolish thing!
"A Pair of Clogs" by Amy Walton
I hate 'em when they make parting scenes: it's too mawkish!
"A London Life; The Patagonia; The Liar; Mrs. Temperly" by Henry James
The children shouted as the fiery sweetmeats burnt away the mawkish taste of the furmety.
"Last Words" by Juliana Horatia Ewing
You might say, "I love pie," but to say "I love Bettie," was mawkish if not actually improper.
"A Son of the Middle Border" by Hamlin Garland
But the rough simplicity is gone, and instead of it there is a tone of sentiment which is almost mawkish.
"Bunyan" by James Anthony Froude
You are a soft-hearted, mawkish creature; how could you hate any one?...
"Fathers and Children" by Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev
Tennyson seemed to me unmanly and mawkish.
"Memoirs of Life and Literature" by W. H. Mallock
They pay each other sweet and mawkish compliments.
"Euphorion" by Vernon Lee
Surely these mawkish home-ties were fast loosing their hold on me, I thought, as we went in.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 81, July, 1864" by Various
What had I on earth to do With the slothful, with the mawkish, the unmanly?
"The Voice of Science in Nineteenth-Century Literature" by Various
She even becomes mawkish over the fortune of a girl who is too poor to be called upon to pay rates and taxes.
"The Book of This and That" by Robert Lynd
She loved to expose the false and mawkish doctrines thought fit for women.
"Maria Edgeworth" by Helen Zimmern
More than that, she expressed the bitterest scorn of my mawkish conscientiousness, as she called it.
"The Sword of Damocles" by Anna Katharine Green
And this without mawkish sentimentality or comic opera delicacy of conduct.
"The Westerners" by Stewart Edward White
But of late he had developed different notions, and had come to pride himself on his freedom from all mawkish sentiment.
"The Beautiful Miss Brooke" by Louis Zangwill
There were few tears and less mawkishness when the battalions moved out from their home towns on the long trail.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume VIII (of VIII)" by various
If there's one thing I despise more than another, it is this kind of mawkish sentimentality.
"John Marchmont's Legacy, Volumes I-III" by Mary E. Braddon

In poetry:

But if some mawkish potion
Might chance to overdose him,
To check its rage,
He took a page
Of logic—to compose him—
"The Rape of the Trap. A Ballad" by William Shenstone
But One there is more sage in that Caress,
Raising no mawkish Pennant of Distress,
But when I tip the Osculative Brim
Accepts the Kiss in Silent Thankfulness.
"The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám Jr." by Wallace Irwin
An empty sound we won from Royal George!
Yea, till the last great fight of all is won,
A sentimental show was Valley Forge,
A mawkish, tawdry farce was Lexington!
"The Red Winds Come!" by John Gneisenau Neihardt

In news:

Cancer is better funny than mawkish .
Cancer is better funny than mawkish.
Earlier this week we published a list of what we considered to be some of the worst political songs ever—the trite, the mawkish, the hopelessly naïve.
Crazy Horse doesn't just redeem Neil Young's mawkish moments -- it transforms them.
In response to the Oct 26 letter discussing the "mawkish revision" of "Pygmalion" by the creators of "My Fair Lady," it's wrong to characterize George Bernard Shaw as a victim.
Few of our readers know the words and music to "Woodman, Spare that Tree," a mawkish ballad that was a hit in the 1830s.
The opportunities for mawkish uplift abound, and heaven help anyone callous enough to call it exploitation.