man·​u·​mit | \ ˌman-yə-ˈmit How to pronounce manumit (audio) \
manumitted; manumitting

Definition of manumit

transitive verb

: to release from slavery

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Choose the Right Synonym for manumit

free, release, liberate, emancipate, manumit mean to set loose from restraint or constraint. free implies a usually permanent removal from whatever binds, confines, entangles, or oppresses. freed the animals from their cages release suggests a setting loose from confinement, restraint, or a state of pressure or tension, often without implication of permanent liberation. released his anger on a punching bag liberate stresses particularly the resulting state of liberty. liberated their country from the tyrant emancipate implies the liberation of a person from subjection or domination. labor-saving devices emancipated us from household drudgery manumit implies emancipation from slavery. the document manumitted the slaves

Did You Know?

To set someone free from captivity is in effect to release that person from the hand, or control, of the captor. You can use this analogy to remember that manumit derives ultimately from the Latin noun manus, meaning "hand," plus the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to let go or "send." The two roots joined hands in Latin to form the verb "manumittere" (meaning "to free from slavery"), which in turn passed into Anglo-French as manumettre and eventually into Middle English as "manumitten." "Manus" has handed down other words to English as well. One of them is "emancipate," which is both a relative and synonym of "manumit."

Examples of manumit in a Sentence

though he was an outspoken defender of liberty, this son of Virginia did not manumit his own slaves until he was on his deathbed

Recent Examples on the Web

Some states, like the state of Georgia, passed expulsion laws that required blacks who were manumitted to leave the state within a year of their emancipation. Tera W. Hunter, The Root, "Some Did Choose to Return to Slavery Because They Chose Family Over Everything," 15 May 2018

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

First Known Use of manumit

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for manumit

Middle English manumitten, from Anglo-French manumettre, from Latin manumittere, from manus hand + mittere to let go, send

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The first known use of manumit was in the 15th century

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