man·​ly | \ˈman-lē \

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

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 Dante, hovering over the issue with Anglophile, let out a manly squeal. Elisa Albert, Longreads, "Etta or Bessie or Dora or Rose," 24 May 2018 Here’s the basic at-home strategy for the ultimate manly manicure. Donna Bulseco, WSJ, "The He-Manicure: A Guide to CEO-Worthy Nails," 2 May 2018 Fast forward to adulthood and the two are attempting to out-run each other on their respective morning jogs, as manly men do. Laura Cohen, Redbook, "Randall and Kevin Hash It Out As Beth Learns a Life-Changing Secret On This Is Us," 16 Nov. 2016 Meaning: strong, manly, free man Origin: German, French This one's a no-brainer tribute to the baby's grandfather, the Prince of Wales. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Royal Baby Prince Louis Has an Important Meaning Behind His Name," 27 Apr. 2018 But rather fittingly, the universe’s first space beer will hail from Manly Beach in Australia (yes, that is genuinely a real place, and a manly one). Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Beer in space? Cutting-edge project developing unique zero gravity brew," 26 Apr. 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 \
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

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