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man·​i·​fest ˈma-nə-ˌfest How to pronounce manifest (audio)
: readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sense of sight
Their sadness was manifest in their faces.
: easily understood or recognized by the mind : obvious
manifestly adverb


2 of 3


manifested; manifesting; manifests

transitive verb

: to make evident or certain by showing or displaying
manifester noun


3 of 3


: a list of passengers or an invoice of cargo for a vehicle (such as a ship or plane)
Choose the Right Synonym for 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


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

Examples of manifest in a Sentence

Adjective 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
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
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 Aug. 1982
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
Their sadness was manifest in their faces. His love for literature is manifest in his large library. There was manifest confusion in the streets. Verb 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
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
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
Both sides have manifested a stubborn unwillingness to compromise. Their religious beliefs are manifested in every aspect of their lives. Her behavior problems began manifesting themselves soon after she left home. Noun 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
Has any passenger manifest been more fretted over than the Mayflower's? Jack Hitt, Harper's, July 2005
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
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Recent Examples on the Web
There’s a manifest danger in calling Social Security a welfare program. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2023 The New Wave filmmakers discerned, extracted, and developed those aspects of recent American movies that seethed and thrummed with the spirit of youth in order to create their own cinema of actual and manifest youth. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2023 Levels of popular anger are still manifest in graffiti that blankets walls and concrete traffic barriers around the port. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 Oct. 2023 In 2024 the race won’t feature two candidates with differing, but arguably sound, policy ideas, but one whose commitment to public policy is manifest, and another whose disdain for democracy is plain. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2023 Instead, what is needed is for the international community to stand in solidarity with Ukraine’s call for criminal accountability in the face of Russia’s manifest violation of international law. Rebecca Hamilton, Foreign Affairs, 12 July 2023 And the consequences of that are physically manifest in school buildings. Chris Hacker, CBS News, 14 Sep. 2023 So in other words, the holographic principle may be telling us that quantum interactions living on the borders of our universe literally manifest spacetime within it. Popular Mechanics, 31 July 2023 The tribunal would be set up specifically to try the crime of aggression—that is, a manifest violation of the UN Charter’s prohibition on the use of force. Brian Finucane, Foreign Affairs, 8 May 2023
This can manifest in someone telling you how to feel, as well as you not feeling heard. Emily Newhouse, Allure, 22 Nov. 2023 Emotional infidelity may co-occur with physical infidelity or manifest independently and poses a significant threat to the emotional connection and trust within a committed relationship. Mark Travers, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 The way the seasons withered crops or provoked tree sap to flow might manifest in the body as yellow bile surging in the summer and cold, wet phlegm dripping in the winter. Meg Leja, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Nov. 2023 The way the seasons withered crops or provoked tree sap to flow might manifest in the body as yellow bile surging in the summer, and cold, wet phlegm dripping in the winter. Discover Magazine, 7 Nov. 2023 Try to use the month of October to embrace change and find confidence in your own ability to manifest your desires. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 Nov. 2023 The discrimination Black women face is particularly insidious, and manifests in racial stereotypes and microaggressions. Kushie Amin,, 30 Oct. 2023 Here this guy was, unprompted, manifesting his own innocence. Simon Webster, The New Yorker, 13 Nov. 2023 So payers may be reluctant to foot the bill for benefits which don’t manifest themselves under their watch. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023
Now, this Mars mission has moved up in the queue to be first in line on the New Glenn manifest. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 22 Nov. 2023 The best-known of these manifests as the El Niño and its opposite, the cooler La Niña. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2023 Some have criticized biohackers’ seeming belief that aging can be treated as a preventable disease instead of an inevitability, and pointed out that genetic determinants, more than treatments and lifestyle choices, account for a large part of how the ravages of aging manifest. Byalexa Mikhail, Fortune Well, 4 Nov. 2023 More typical, in these stories and in ghost stories generally, is the consciousness manifest in the lingering presence of the uneasy dead — or, as Winterson renders it, the Dead — a lost lover, a mother mourned, a victim seeking revenge or recognition, or those who simply won’t go away. Ellen Akins, Los Angeles Times, 24 Oct. 2023 Speaking to reporters outside the church, immigration advocates and city officials did not provide a full manifest of those who arrived by charter bus but said several of the passengers came from Venezuela, Guatemala and Honduras, with two of African descent and one of Asian descent. Alicia Victoria Lozano, NBC News, 15 June 2023 The 33-year-old male, who was driving a tractor trailer with a shipment manifest for cucumbers, was seeking entry into the U.S. from the southern border on Sept. 15, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, 25 Sep. 2023 Brightly luminescent, the aurorae manifest as clouds and ribbons in the sky. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 24 July 2023 Flight manifests, itineraries and tracking data showed four other flights DeSantis took in November and December of 2018 on a plane that was registered at the time to John Cwik, another DeSantis political donor who is the CEO of a window manufacturer in Ocala, Fla. Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Adjective, Verb, and Noun

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of manifest was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near manifest

Cite this Entry

“Manifest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 adjective
man·​i·​fest ˈman-ə-ˌfest How to pronounce manifest (audio)
: clear to the senses or mind : obvious
their relief was manifest
manifestly adverb


2 of 3 verb
: to show plainly : display


3 of 3 noun
: a list of cargo or passengers especially for a ship or plane

Legal Definition


1 of 3 adjective
man·​i·​fest ˈma-nə-ˌfest How to pronounce manifest (audio)
: capable of being readily perceived by the senses and especially by sight
a manifest injury
: capable of being easily understood or recognized : clearly evident, obvious, and indisputable
vacating an arbitrator's award because of the arbitrator's manifest disregard of the law
manifestly adverb


2 of 3 transitive verb
: to make evident or certain by showing or displaying
manifesting the intent to make a gift


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

More from Merriam-Webster on manifest

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