Pronunciation: (man'u-riz"um),[key] —n. 1. a habitual or characteristic manner, mode, or way of doing something; distinctive quality or style, as in behavior or speech: He has an annoying mannerism of tapping his fingers while he talks. They copied his literary mannerisms but always lacked his ebullience. 2. marked or excessive adherence to an unusual or a particular manner, esp. if affected: Natural courtesy is a world apart from snobbish mannerism. 3. (usually cap.) a style in the fine arts developed principally in Europe during the 16th century, chiefly characterized by a complex perspectival system, elongation of forms, strained gestures or poses of figures, and intense, often strident color.