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 traditionally associated with a man : strong, virile
2 : appropriate in character to a man manly sports

Synonyms & Antonyms for manly

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 There is nothing quite as manly as the scent of aftershave. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 May 2022 These ingredients also provide a natural fragrance that’s woody, earthy and all-round manly. The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 May 2022 It’s that same, younger audience that embraced Ted Lasso and his forerunners: the fantasy manly men who populate the gentlest contemporary sitcoms. Judy Berman, Time, 19 July 2021 When the reporter went forward he was met by the men courteously and given straightforward, manly replies to his questions. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 July 2021 In prior technological waves, companies manly needed people proficient in database administration, loading data, and using programming languages like Python and R to manipulate and move data internally. Ron Schmelzer, Forbes, 12 June 2021 Right-wing critiques that our military and intelligence services are somehow not hardened and ruthless enough, not manly enough, have been a recurrent feature of political discourse going back decades. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 4 June 2021 Unlike his peers, Virgil isn't manly in the traditional sense or overtly tough, and many characters in these first four issues try to tell him how a man should behave. Christian Holub,, 18 Feb. 2021 Trump's Covid drive by proves downplaying illness isn't manly — it’s dangerous, author Liz Plank writes in an opinion piece. NBC News, 5 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This cologne mixes together bay oil, citrus and spices to create an intoxicating blend fit for the ultimate manly man. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 May 2022 Clean hair is the next step to your manly grooming routine. The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 May 2022 Overall, this shampoo is made for men with a manly scent that’s sure to bring attention. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 May 2022 The adult Falcone is a cautionary figure, a man broken by the manly vocation that was supposed to bring him glory. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, 11 May 2022 And the trailer for his show was designed with this in mind; it was stuffed full-to-bursting with over-the-top footage of jacked bros doing manly stuff. Ian Allen, The New Republic, 20 Apr. 2022 Maria’s Place is a small space for showers and cozier gatherings while Sophia’s Room takes on a more manly vibe. Marc Bona, cleveland, 18 Apr. 2022 This is the Old Spice of protein powders, marketed to manly men who Lift Heavy and Eat Clean and Consume an Unholy Amount of Protein. Amanda Shapiro, Bon Appétit, 8 Mar. 2022 One is a test of a 2021 Jeep Gladiator, and the second is the outfitting of that Gladiator by a company who specializes in customizing not only the Gladiator but a mess of other manly trucks – RMT Overland. Josh Max, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of manly


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for manly


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


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

Learn More About manly

Time Traveler for manly

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near manly

man lock



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for manly

Last Updated

3 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Manly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for manly


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

More from Merriam-Webster on manly

Nglish: Translation of manly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of manly for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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