man

1 of 4

noun

ˈman How to pronounce man (audio)
 in compounds  ˌman,
 or  mən
plural men ˈmen How to pronounce man (audio)
 in compounds  ˌmen,
 or  mən
1
a(1)
: an individual human
especially : an adult male human
(2)
: a man belonging to a particular category (as by birth, residence, membership, or occupation)
usually used in combination
councilman
(3)
: husband
I now pronounce you man and wife.
(4)
: lover
He was her man.
b
: the human race : humankind
the history of man
c
: 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 articulate entry 1 sense 1a) speech and abstract reasoning, and is the sole living representative of the hominid family
broadly : any living or extinct hominid
d(1)
: one possessing in high degree the qualities considered distinctive of manhood (such as courage, strength, and vigor)
(2)
obsolete : the quality or state of being manly : manliness
e
: fellow, chap
used as mode of familiar address
f
used interjectionally to express intensity of feeling
man, what a game
2
a
: individual, person
a man could get killed there
b
: the individual who can fulfill or who has been chosen to fulfill one's requirements
she's your man
3
a
: a feudal tenant : vassal
b
: an adult male servant
c
men plural : the working force as distinguished from the employer and usually the management
The men have been on strike for several weeks.
4
a
: one of the distinctive objects moved by each player in various board games
b
: one of the players on a team
nine men on each side
5
: an alumnus of or student at a college or university
a Bowdoin man
6
Christian Science : the compound idea of infinite Spirit : the spiritual image and likeness of God : the full representation of Mind
7
often capitalized : police
when I heard the siren, I knew it was the ManAmer. Speech
8
often capitalized : the white establishment : white society
We should control anything that affects black people. Why should The Man control us?Jimmy Denham
9
: one extremely fond of or devoted to something specified
strictly a vanilla ice cream man
manless adjective
manlike adjective

man

2 of 4

verb

manned; manning

transitive verb

1
a
: to supply with people (as for service)
man a fleet
b
: to station members of a ship's crew at
man the capstan
c
: to serve in the force or complement of
man the ticket booth
2
: to accustom (a bird, such as a hawk) to humans and the human environment
3
: to furnish with strength or powers of resistance : brace
My hair bristled and my knees shook. I manned myself, however, and determined to return to my quarters.Sir Walter Scott

man

3 of 4

abbreviation (1)

manual

Man

4 of 4

abbreviation (2)

Manitoba
Phrases
as one man
: with the agreement and consent of all : unanimously
The council voted as one man.
one's own man
: free from interference or control
He left home and moved to the city to become his own man.
to a man
: without exception
His friends, to a man, supported him.

Examples of man in a Sentence

Noun 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Reed does still have some raw potential, and could also just be retained as the key reserve behind Detroit big man Jalen Duren, a 2022 lottery pick. Aron Solomon, Newsweek, 10 July 2024 Neal Sako: An intriguing 25-year-old big man who has been playing professionally in France since 2017. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 10 July 2024
Verb
With LeMahieu out of Thursday’s lineup, Oswaldo Cabrera manned the hot corner. Gary Phillips, New York Daily News, 11 July 2024 Hill will man the slot and play on the outside on occasion as well. Mike Kaye, Charlotte Observer, 24 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for man 

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of man was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near man

Cite this Entry

“Man.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/man. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

man

1 of 2 noun
plural men ˈmen How to pronounce man (audio)
1
a
: a human being
especially : an adult male human
b
: the human race : humankind
d
: a primate mammal that walks on two legs and is the only living member of the hominid family
also : any living or extinct hominid
e
used as an interjection to express strong feeling
man, what a game
f
: fellow
used as a mode of familiar address
2
a
: a tenant in the Middle Ages : vassal
b
: an adult male servant
c
plural : workers as a group
3
a
: individual entry 2 sense 2, person
a man could be killed there
b
: a person who can or is chosen to fulfill one's requirements
she's your man
4
: one of the pieces in a game (as chess)

man

2 of 2 verb
manned; manning
1
: to supply with people (as for service)
man a ship
2
: to station members of a ship's crew at
man the ropes
3
: to serve in the force of
man the ticket counter
Etymology

Noun

Old English man "person, male person"

Medical Definition

man

noun
plural men ˈmen How to pronounce man (audio)
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on man

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