man·​sue·​tude ˈman(t)-swi-ˌtüd How to pronounce mansuetude (audio) man-ˈsü-ə- How to pronounce mansuetude (audio)
: the quality or state of being gentle : meekness, tameness

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Mansuetude was first used in English in the 14th century, and it derives from the Latin verb mansuescere, which means "to tame." Mansuescere itself comes from the noun manus (meaning "hand") and the verb suescere ("to accustom" or "to become accustomed"). Unlike manus, which has many English descendants (including manner, emancipate, and manicure), suescere has only a few English progeny. One of them is desuetude, which means "disuse" and comes to us by way of Latin desuescere ("to become unaccustomed"). Two others are custom and accustom, which derive via Anglo-French from Latin consuescere, meaning "to accustom."

Word History


Middle English, from Latin mansuetudo, from mansuescere to tame, from manus hand + suescere to accustom; akin to Greek ēthos custom — more at manual, sib

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mansuetude was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near mansuetude

Cite this Entry

“Mansuetude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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