Definition of manqué
: short of or frustrated in the fulfillment of one's aspirations or talents —used postpositively a poet manqué
manqué was our Word of the Day on 10/08/2015. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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.
Origin and Etymology of manqué
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: 1773See Words from the same year
MANQUÉ Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of manqué for English Language Learners
—used to describe what a person could or should have been but never was
Learn More about manqué
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up manqué? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).