manly

1 of 2

adverb

man·​ly ˈman-lē How to pronounce manly (audio)
: in a manly manner

manly

2 of 2

adjective

manlier; manliest
1
: having qualities traditionally associated with a man : strong, virile
2
: appropriate in character to a man
manly sports

Examples of manly in a Sentence

Adjective He wasn't manly enough to fight. He has a deep, manly voice.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb
Aloe vera hydrates, while calendula and nutmeg soothe, and vetiver is a natural antiseptic that also happens to smell deliciously manly. The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 May 2022 In a lengthy Instagram post shared Thursday, the actress and mother pondered the ways that the culture has decided to try and make men less manly and women less feminine. Gabriel Hays, Fox News, 5 May 2023 Heston is stately, manly, commanding. Kyle Smith, National Review, 3 Apr. 2021 There was something über-manly about it, but not in some bro/metal kind of way. Drew Fortune, Vulture, 2 May 2022 Men who had a more manly cheekbone width—which is to say, wider faces—had lower-quality sperm. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 11 Sep. 2014 No matter that Larry was in many ways a conventional man from rural America: great at building things, gruff in voice and demeanor, traditionally manly in almost every other way down to his calloused hands. Jose A. Del Real, Washington Post, 21 Dec. 2022 The viking beard is king among rugged, manly beard styles because of its devil-may-care attitude. Garrett Munce, Men's Health, 10 Nov. 2022 Furthermore, he's appreciated viewers' interpretations of the older man character who acts aggressively with the young child (who seemingly represents Williams) and urges him to act more manly. Jack Irvin, Peoplemag, 28 Oct. 2022
Adjective
Because what's manlier than being the king of the castle, right? Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 12 July 2023 Advertisement Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone may have cooled down their decades-long rivalry into a stern, manly friendship, but that doesn't mean their competitive spirits have died. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 5 Oct. 2023 Bellocchio pulled Scorsese in close for a manly pat on the back. Manuela Santacatterina, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Feb. 2024 Gone are the manly traits of our forefathers: stoicism, reliability, strength, and dignity. Christian Schneider, National Review, 1 Feb. 2024 Still, the young men’s fathers each felt their son had a manly duty to serve. Natalia Abbakumova, Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2024 Spencer redressed the existing sets to reflect the manly elements Gosling’s Ken has brought back from the Real World, including mini-fridges and leather furniture. Emily Zemler, Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2024 Long eyelashes lent his eyes a feminine sparkle, a counterpoint to his manly chin. William Keiser, Los Angeles Times, 8 Dec. 2023 Along with Simmons’ gruff, manly background vocals, the latter track was highlighted by Thayer’s razoring guitar leads. A.d. Amorosi, Variety, 3 Dec. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

Adverb

Middle English manli "befitting a man, bravely, resolutely, courteously," going back to Old English manliche, from man man entry 1 + -liche -ly entry 2

Adjective

Middle English manli "human, male, brave, resolute, noble," from man man entry 1 + -li -ly entry 1

First Known Use

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near manly

Cite this Entry

“Manly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/manly. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

manly

adjective
man·​ly
ˈman-lē
manlier; manliest
1
: having qualities usually expected of a man : strong
2
: appropriate in character to a man
manly sports
manliness noun

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