man·​ly | \ ˈman-lē How to pronounce manly (audio) \

Definition of manly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in a manly manner


manlier; manliest

Definition of manly (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having qualities generally associated with a man : strong, virile
2 : appropriate in character to a man manly sports

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Other Words from manly


manliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for manly

Synonyms: Adjective

male, man-size (or man-sized), manlike, mannish, masculine, virile

Antonyms: Adjective

unmanly, unmasculine

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Examples of manly in a Sentence


He wasn't manly enough to fight. He has a deep, manly voice.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The company recruited figures from the sports world—the NASCAR driver Mark Martin, the soccer player Pelé, the baseball player Rafael Palmeiro—to star in ads that emphasized men being classically manly: speeding, winning, overcoming. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Jagged Little (Blue) Pill," 27 Mar. 2018 Ranching work was challenging, manly and allowed black people to make as much as whites. The Economist, "Restoring black Americans to the saddle," 25 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Yet by every account, the philosopher was exceptionally ugly, his mien marred by monstrous bulging eyes, in a society that prized manly beauty as a virtue partaking of the divine. Jamie James, WSJ, "‘Socrates in Love’ Review: A Vigorous, Brilliant Young Man," 17 May 2019 Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, of Brazil, is the sort of human being that English and American soccer pundits, schooled in the cult of manly stoicism and prone to self-righteous sermons about fair play, were born to disdain. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Annoying Genius Who Makes the World Cup Worth Watching," 5 July 2018 There was an irresistible force of logic, a clinching power of argument, and a manly disregard of everything like sophistry... John J. Miller, WSJ, "‘Lincoln’s Confidant’ Review: The Friend Who Listened," 15 Feb. 2019 Pushing through pain is supposed to be heroic and manly. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Daredevil’s ‘suffering makes a man’ trope is common, familiar, and bad for everyone," 24 Oct. 2018 Once chummy and physically affectionate (in a manly man kind of way), the two world leaders have begun airing their ideological differences and policy disagreements more openly. Rachel Withers, Vox, "Macron denounces nationalism as avowed “nationalist” Trump stands steps away," 11 Nov. 2018 That is, unless, I got sucked into the manly vortex of the hardware department and the bane of my existence, the tool aisle. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "Sears Declared Bankruptcy And I Already Miss It," 15 Oct. 2018 But underneath the thrilling music, the glossy stars, and the deafening Oscar buzz, the movie discretely turns the idea of what an onscreen manly-man should look like. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "A Star Is Born," 5 Oct. 2018 Gone fishing What’s the manly version of a spa gift set? Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 Father's Day gift ideas that can be found in Milwaukee suburbs," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'manly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of manly


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for manly

The first known use of manly was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for manly



English Language Learners Definition of manly

: having or showing qualities (such as strength or courage) that are expected in a man


man·​ly | \ ˈman-lē How to pronounce manly (audio) \
manlier; manliest

Kids Definition of manly

: having or showing qualities (as strength or courage) often felt to be proper for a man a manly voice

Other Words from manly

manliness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on manly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for manly

Spanish Central: Translation of manly

Nglish: Translation of manly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of manly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on manly

What made you want to look up manly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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