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adjective man·i·fest \ˈma-nə-ˌfest\

Simple Definition of manifest

  • : able to be seen : clearly shown or visible

  • : easy to understand or recognize

Full Definition of manifest

  1. 1 :  readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sense of sight

  2. 2 :  easily understood or recognized by the mind :  obvious

man·i·fest·ly adverb

Examples of manifest

  1. The argument, for all of its manifest inadequacies … captured the national imagination and shaped subsequent religious discourse. It provided a vocabulary, an explanation, and a new set of boundaries for the restructured American religion that had by then been developing for half a century. —Jonathan D. Sarna, American Judaism, 2004

  2. Economics, the great model among us now, indulges and deprives, builds and abandons, threatens and promises. Its imperium is manifest, irrefragable—as in fact it has been since antiquity. —Marilynne Robinson, The Death of Adam, 1998

  3. Washington has long been uneasy about its relationship with Somalia, partly because of the manifest shakiness of the Siad Barre administration but also because of Somalia's continuing claims on the Ogaden. —John Borrell, Wall Street Journal, 23 August 1982

  4. His muscles were getting flabby, and his tailor called attention to his increasing waistband. In fact, Daylight was developing a definite paunch. This physical deterioration was manifest likewise in his face. —Jack London, Burning Daylight, 1910

  5. Their sadness was manifest in their faces.

  6. His love for literature is manifest in his large library.

  7. There was manifest confusion in the streets.

Origin of manifest

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French manifeste, from Latin manifestus caught in the act, flagrant, obvious, perhaps from manus + -festus (akin to Latin infestus hostile)

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of manifest

evident, manifest, patent, distinct, obvious, apparent, plain, clear mean readily perceived or apprehended. evident implies presence of visible signs that lead one to a definite conclusion <an evident fondness for sweets>. manifest implies an external display so evident that little or no inference is required <manifest hostility>. patent applies to a cause, effect, or significant feature that is clear and unmistakable once attention has been directed to it <patent defects>. distinct implies such sharpness of outline or definition that no unusual effort to see or hear or comprehend is required <a distinct refusal>. obvious implies such ease in discovering that it often suggests conspicuousness or little need for perspicacity in the observer <the obvious solution>. apparent is very close to evident except that it may imply more conscious exercise of inference <for no apparent reason>. plain suggests lack of intricacy, complexity, or elaboration <her feelings about him are plain>. clear implies an absence of anything that confuses the mind or obscures the pattern <a clear explanation>.



verb man·i·fest \ˈma-nə-ˌfest\

Simple Definition of manifest

  • : to show (something) clearly

Full Definition of manifest

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to make evident or certain by showing or displaying

man·i·fest·er noun

Examples of manifest

  1. Malone has invited Barkley to spend a week … to relax, talk some basketball, eat some hot Louisiana food and kick around the subject of frustration, something they both feel but manifest in different ways. —Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated, 27 Apr. 1992

  2. He asked what they had been doing in Dallas, and they told him that they were looking at the Sunbelt boom as manifested in the great Texas banks, thrifts and real estate operations. —John Kenneth Galbraith, A Tenured Professor, 1990

  3. And if one is a pantheist … one might say that all nature is divinity and manifests itself in myriad forms and delightful complexities. —Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon, 1986

  4. Both sides have manifested a stubborn unwillingness to compromise.

  5. Their religious beliefs are manifested in every aspect of their lives.

  6. Her behavior problems began manifesting themselves soon after she left home.

Origin of manifest

(see 1manifest)

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of manifest

show, exhibit, display, expose, parade, flaunt mean to present so as to invite notice or attention. show implies no more than enabling another to see or examine <showed her snapshots to the whole group>. exhibit stresses putting forward prominently or openly <exhibit paintings at a gallery>. display emphasizes putting in a position where others may see to advantage <display sale items>. expose suggests bringing forth from concealment and displaying <sought to expose the hypocrisy of the town fathers>. parade implies an ostentatious or arrogant displaying <parading their piety for all to see>. flaunt suggests a shameless, boastful, often offensive parading <nouveaux riches flaunting their wealth>.

show, manifest, evidence, evince, demonstrate mean to reveal outwardly or make apparent. show is the general term but sometimes implies that what is revealed must be gained by inference from acts, looks, or words <careful not to show his true feelings>. manifest implies a plainer, more immediate revelation <manifested musical ability at an early age>. evidence suggests serving as proof of the actuality or existence of something <a commitment evidenced by years of loyal service>. evince implies a showing by outward marks or signs <evinced not the slightest fear>. demonstrate implies showing by action or by display of feeling <demonstrated their approval by loud applause>.



noun man·i·fest \ˈma-nə-ˌfest\

Definition of manifest

  1. 1 :  manifestation, indication

  2. 2 :  manifesto

  3. 3 :  a list of passengers or an invoice of cargo for a vehicle (as a ship or plane)

Examples of manifest

  1. Since 2002, a program known as the Container Security Initiative requires our main trading partners to send to U.S. Customs and border Protection an electronic manifest for every U.S.-bound container twenty-four hours before it is loaded on a ship. —William Finnegan, New Yorker, 19 June 2006

  2. Has any passenger manifest been more fretted over than the Mayflower's? —Jack Hitt, Harper's, July 2005

  3. But for me, finding it still in “use” is high on the manifest of writerly thrills longed for—along with seeing someone you don't know hungrily reading your book on an overland bus in Turkey; or noticing your book on the shelf behind the moderator on Meet the Press next to The Wealth of Nations and Giants in the Earth; or seeing your book on a list of overlooked American masterpieces compiled by former insiders in the Kennedy administration. —Richard Ford, Independence Day, 1995

Origin of manifest

(see 1manifest)

First Known Use: 1561

Seen and Heard

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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