man·​li·​ness ˈman-lē-nəs How to pronounce manliness (audio)
: the quality or state of being manly (as by having qualities such as strength or virility that are traditionally associated with a man)
They'd been trained to identify emotional repression as the essence of manliness. Men who broke down, or cried, or admitted to feeling fear, were sissies, weaklings, failures. Not men.Pat Barker
… the angular manliness of her gestures …John Colapinto

Examples of manliness in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 2006, Mansfield published a striking book, on an age-old subject: manliness. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 3 Oct. 2022 The version of manliness the ‘93 team beamed into every young mind in the tri-state area involved grapefruit-sized hunks of tobacco, chewed and spat. Megan Angelo, Vogue, 12 Oct. 2023 The story of manliness at Claremont might be said to begin with Harvey C. Mansfield Jr., the author of the 2006 book Manliness. Katherine Stewart, The New Republic, 10 Aug. 2023 People have different ideas of strength, and different ideas of manliness. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 18 July 2023 Vladimir Putin — 2019 Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is known for carefully curating his image, releasing photographs of him bare-chested riding a horse or swimming in a freezing Siberian lake or practicing judo in apparent displays of his strength and manliness. Adela Suliman, Washington Post, 2 June 2023 Charlie has a run-in with John Wayne and quietly threatens to out him as a draft dodger, in another touch that has present-day overtones; Charlie doesn’t like chest-thumping manliness from those who didn’t do their share. New York Times, 8 May 2021 This man’s fantasy about being oppressed in the world of literature because his manliness wasn’t welcome in the genre of romance writing didn’t ring true. Longreads, 10 Aug. 2020 Like his conception of irreducible manliness, though, the argument hasn't gone away. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 3 Nov. 2021 See More

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

Word History


Middle English manlynesse, from manli, manly manly entry 2 + -nesse -ness

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of manliness was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near manliness

Cite this Entry

“Manliness.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

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