man·​qué mäⁿ-ˈkā How to pronounce manqué (audio)
: short of or frustrated in the fulfillment of one's aspirations or talents
used postpositively
a poet manqué

Did you know?

The etymology of manqué is likely to vex left-handers. English speakers picked up "manqué" directly from French more than two centuries ago, and it ultimately comes from Latin manco, meaning "having a crippled hand." But in between the Latin and French portions of this word's history came the Italian word manco, which means both "lacking" and "left-handed." Lefties may be further displeased to learn that "manqué" isn't the only English word with a history that links left-handedness with something undesirable. For example, the word awkward comes from "awke," a Middle English word meaning both "turned the wrong way" and "left-handed." And the noun "gawk" ("a clumsy stupid person") probably comes from a "gawk" that means "left-handed" in English dialect.

Word History


French, from past participle of manquer to lack, fail, from Italian mancare, from manco lacking, left-handed, from Latin, having a crippled hand, probably from manus

First Known Use

1773, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of manqué was in 1773


Dictionary Entries Near manqué

Cite this Entry

“Manqué.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

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