: a bipedal primate mammal (Homo sapiens) that is anatomically related to the great apes but distinguished especially by notable development of the brain with a resultant capacity for articulate (see articulateentry 1 sense 1a) speech and abstract reasoning, and is the sole living representative of the hominid family
broadly: any living or extinct hominid
: one possessing in high degree the qualities considered distinctive of manhood (such as courage, strength, and vigor)
obsolete: the quality or state of being manly : manliness
He was a shy boy, but he grew to be a strong and confident man.
He's a grown man now.
The movie is popular with men and women.
Are you man enough to meet the challenge? Verb
He stocked shelves while I manned the cash register.
We'll need someone to man the phones this evening.
No one was manning the front desk. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
In 2019, Smollett went to the police in Chicago, claiming that he was assaulted by two men outside of his apartment who also put a noose around his neck and called him racial slurs.—Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 1 Dec. 2023 My next film project is based on a true story about an early Chinese immigrant working for a rich man as a slave.—Jordan Moreau, Variety, 1 Dec. 2023 But there's no hurrying a good brew as this extract from Boy on Fire, Mordue's biography of the singer as a young man, suggests.—Mark Mordue, SPIN, 1 Dec. 2023 Another favorite is North by Northwest, the Alfred Hitchcock thriller that has Grant playing Roger Thornhill, a Madison Avenue ad man on the run after being mistaken by villains as a top U.S. spy, and proving to be at his most sophisticated and charming opposite Eva Marie Saint.—Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Dec. 2023 Chauvin has been serving a state and federal sentence at FCI Tucson in the death of Floyd, a Black man who died while in police custody on May 25, 2020.—Luke Barr, ABC News, 1 Dec. 2023 The Conservative Party’s base, tired of being in the political wilderness, choose Cameron as their man
His return to government encharge the foreing policy portfolio is notable.—Zenger News, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 There are two qualities in my movies that reflect man’s true character: honesty and loyalty.—Simon Abrams, The New Yorker, 19 Nov. 2023 Daniel, a transgender man, acted as a resource for the LGBTQ community in the Springs by directing people to the right resources, raising money for trans people in need, and answering questions about trans-affirming care.—Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 19 Nov. 2023
At the entrances and exits to Jericho, the only point of entry for Palestinians, visitors, and cargo from Jordan into the West Bank, checkpoints erected in February are now fully manned.—Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Nov. 2023 Paltrow, 51, for her part, carried out catering duties at the event, manning the Broad Street Oyster Co. & Goop Kitchen station.—Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 12 Nov. 2023 This new border—the Antonine Wall, so called after the emperor Antoninus Pius—took three Roman legions twelve years to make and was manned for only eight before the Romans withdrew.—Marina Warner, The New York Review of Books, 2 Nov. 2023 As Cassidy manned the turntables and sang and rapped along with every artist who graced the stage, each act took turns performing one or two songs throughout the medley.—Steven J. Horowitz, Variety, 19 Oct. 2023 The military reported destroying a position manned by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.—William Booth, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 More were being called in as schools closed and officers shut down roads, manned checkpoints and stopped vehicles to question motorists and open trunks.—Maryclaire Dale and Marc Levy, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Sep. 2023 The prisons were manned by soldiers and F.S.B. and OMON agents, and, eventually, agents with Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service.—James Verini Paolo Pellegrin, New York Times, 1 Nov. 2023 The detail—by some counts the town’s largest agency, and the only one for which jobs do not rotate every three years—is tasked with all security, manning the checkpoints, guarding against poachers, and even punishing public drunkenness.—Alexander Sammon, Harper's Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'man.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Noun and Verb
Middle English, from Old English man, mon human being, male human; akin to Old High German man human being, Sanskrit manu
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)
: a bipedal primate mammal of the genus Homo (H. sapiens) that is anatomically related to the great apes (family Pongidae) but is distinguished by greater development of the brain with resulting capacity for articulate speech and abstract reasoning, by marked erectness of body carriage with corresponding alteration of muscular balance and loss of prehensile powers of the foot, and by shortening of the arm with accompanying increase in thumb size and ability to place the thumb next to each of the fingers, that is usually considered to occur in a variable number of freely interbreeding races, and that is the sole living representative of the family Hominidae
broadly: any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae