see usage paragraph below
: carrying, staffed, or performed by one or more people
a manned security booth
manned spaceflight
a manned mission
Usage of Manned and Unmanned

While manned and unmanned are still commonly used in news sources to describe spaceflights with and without human crews, respectively, NASA has since the early 21st century used and prescribed non-gender-specific terms, preferring such descriptors as human, piloted, and crewed for the former, and unpiloted and uncrewed for the latter.

Examples of manned in a Sentence

a manned mission to the moon
Recent Examples on the Web The reality of such developments is not far off, with Intuitive Machines' Odysseus lander touching down on the moon earlier this year and NASA planning a manned landing in 2026. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 5 Apr. 2024 To guard against manned and unmanned surface vessels that could pose threats, Stavridis said, commanders could position Navy SEALs or other armed personnel in small, high-speed boats, with Israeli security forces providing protection on land. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2024 The technology could speed up a manned trip to Mars from the current seven-month minimum to as few as 45 days. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 30 Aug. 2023 That mission marked the first rendezvous of two manned spacecraft, the kind of maneuver that had to be perfected for a lunar module to descend to the moon from a command module, which remained in orbit, and then link up with it for the trip home. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, 18 Mar. 2024 From 1873 until the 1960s, East Brother Island was home to a manned lighthouse, using its beacon and horn to guide ships through the often-foggy strait that connects San Francisco Bay to San Pablo Bay. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 14 Feb. 2024 The robotic vehicles are meant to supplement the Navy’s manned warships, rather than replace them. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Feb. 2024 While the court then found that manned aircraft surveilling backyards did not violate the Fourth Amendment, the differences with today’s drones are significant, said Hannah Zhao, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a watchdog group that filed a brief in the Michigan case. Carey L. Biron, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Feb. 2024 However, just a few weeks later, the Wright brothers made a manned flight. Nadezhda Kosareva, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1583, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of manned was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near manned

Cite this Entry

“Manned.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: carrying or performed by a person
manned spaceflight

More from Merriam-Webster on manned

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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