plural men-children ˈmen-ˌchil-drən How to pronounce man-child (audio)
: a male child : son
… it came to her what a glory it would be to be the mother of a man-child like this.Jack London
: a man who has the qualities of a child : a childlike man
… a largely likable tale about a 38-year-old man-child trying finally to grow up.Manohla Dargis

Examples of man-child in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Whether in the interview scenes or in the flashbacks, his hushed intensity suggests a fractured man-child who was never properly socialized. Tim Grierson, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024 Paul Reubens | Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Reubens, an actor and comedian who was best known for his beloved man-child character Pee-wee Herman but also appeared in numerous other film and TV projects, died July 30. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 9 Sep. 2023 Sandler played the titular role of a man-child repeating grades one through 12. Skyler Trepel, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2024 Playing the disconnected man-child still married to a woman who preyed upon him as a seventh-grader, Melton tinged his character’s agony with a heartbreaking sadness that lingered long after the film ended. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 19 Jan. 2024 The biggest difference between the movies and the latest project is that the latter picks up two decades earlier, in 1993, and finds Ted’s human bestie John Bennett not as a middle-aged man-child played by Mark Wahlberg but as a 16-year-old boy played by Max Burkholder. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Jan. 2024 Lakis plays Miranda, Daniel’s estranged wife, who has grown weary of his man-child antics. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 Just when this man-child is ready to take responsibility, his actual child has zero interest in being parented. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2023 Does the Danny McBride man-child archetype exist without Reubens and Pee-wee? Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'man-child.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of man-child was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near man-child

Cite this Entry

“Man-child.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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