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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

The other great theme of the Jungle Books is that of personal growth through manly, stressful adventure in the wild. Charles Mcgrath, The New Yorker, "Rudyard Kipling in America," 1 July 2019 The development of seaside resorts like Newport but also Long Branch in New Jersey, catering to the affluent, occasioned near drownings, which inspired the storyline of manly rescue. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Silver Sailing Cups Recall Gilded Age Glamour and Sexuality," 29 June 2019 Wright clearly tailored the 6,500-square-foot main house to the wealthy bachelor’s manly tastes. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Couple shares 25-year love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright home," 18 June 2019 Later evidence has shown that Keats took his hostile reviews with a considerably more manly calm than we were taught in school, and yet the image of the young, rare talent cut down by venomous reviewers remains firmly fixed in the public mind. Elizabeth Hardwick, Harper's magazine, "Literary Failure," 10 June 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of manly


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about manly

Statistics for manly

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for manly

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!