noun man·ner \ ˈma-nər \
|Updated on: 14 Aug 2018

Definition of manner

1 a (1) : a characteristic or customary mode of acting : custom
  • stopped to speak, after the manner of the country
  • —Ellen Glasgow
(2) : a mode of procedure or way of acting : fashion
  • responded in a lively manner
(3) : method of artistic execution (see execution 1) or mode of presentation : style
  • offers plenty of room for many jazz manners Wilder Hobson
b manners plural : social conduct or rules of conduct as shown in the prevalent customs
  • Victorian manners
c : characteristic or distinctive bearing (see bearing 1), air, or deportment
  • his poised gracious manner
d manners plural
(1) : habitual conduct or deportment : behavior
  • mind your manners
(2) : good manners
  • Someone should teach you some manners.
e : a distinguished or stylish air
  • taught to acquire a manner suitable to her station
2 a : kind, sort
  • what manner of man is he
b : kinds, sorts
  • all manner of problems


play \ˈma-nər-ləs\ adjective
to the manner born
: fitted by or as if by birth or rearing to a particular position, role, or status
  • was not to the manner born, and did not go to prep schools or to an Ivy League school
  • —Peter Tryell

Examples of manner in a Sentence

  1. She has a very forceful manner of speaking.

  2. I objected to the manner in which the decision was made.

  3. Some people have no manners.

  4. Someone should teach you some manners!

  5. He forgot his manners and reached across the table for the salt.

  6. He painted this picture in his early manner.

Recent Examples of manner from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'manner.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of manner

Middle English manere, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *manuaria, from Latin, feminine of manuarius of the hand, from manus hand — more at manual

Synonym Discussion of manner

bearing, deportment, demeanor, mien, manner, carriage mean the outward manifestation of personality or attitude. bearing is the most general of these words but now usually implies characteristic posture.
    • a woman of regal bearing
deportment suggests actions or behavior as formed by breeding or training.
    • your deportment was atrocious
demeanor suggests one's attitude toward others as expressed in outward behavior.
    • the haughty demeanor of the headwaiter
mien is a literary term referring both to bearing and demeanor.
    • a mien of supreme self-satisfaction
manner implies characteristic or customary way of moving and gesturing and addressing others.
    • the imperious manner of a man used to giving orders
carriage applies chiefly to habitual posture in standing or walking.
    • the kind of carriage learned at boarding school
method, mode, manner, way, fashion, system mean the means taken or procedure followed in achieving an end. method implies an orderly logical arrangement usually in steps.
    • effective teaching methods
mode implies an order or course followed by custom, tradition, or personal preference.
    • the preferred mode of transportation
manner is close to mode but may imply a procedure or method that is individual or distinctive.
    • an odd manner of conducting
way is very general and may be used for any of the preceding words.
    • has her own way of doing things
fashion may suggest a peculiar or characteristic way of doing something.
    • rushing about in his typical fashion
system suggests a fully developed or carefully formulated method often emphasizing rational orderliness.
    • a filing system

MANNER Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of manner for English Language Learners

  • : the way that something is done or happens

  • : the way that a person normally behaves especially while with other people

  • manners : behavior while with other people

MANNER Defined for Kids


noun man·ner \ ˈma-nər \

Definition of manner for Students

1 : the way something is done or happens
  • She worked in a quick manner.
2 : a way of acting
  • He has a gentle manner.
3 manners plural : behavior toward or in the presence of other people
  • They have good manners in a restaurant.
4 : 1sort 1
  • … all manner of stories were told about it …
  • —C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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very hard to disturb or upset

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