man·​u·​script | \ ˈman-yə-ˌskript How to pronounce manuscript (audio) \

Definition of manuscript

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: written by hand or typed manuscript letters manuscript poems



Definition of manuscript (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a written or typewritten composition or document as distinguished from a printed copy also : a document submitted for publication The library owns the author's original manuscript.
2 : writing as opposed to print

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Synonyms & Antonyms for manuscript

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of manuscript in a Sentence

Noun The library owns the author's original manuscript. a copy of the composer's manuscript
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hugeburc’s cipher, stitched into the join between two texts, has provided Watt an invitation to look closely at both the spaces between texts and the spaces around them, whether the manuscript page or the abbey environment. Mary Wellesley, The New York Review of Books, "Love, Ecgburg," 6 Oct. 2020 For two years, publishers rejected Mr. Willems’s manuscript, in which a pigeon really wants to drive a bus but never actually does. Emily Bobrow, WSJ, "The Serious Silliness of Mo Willems," 2 Oct. 2020 More recently, in 2006, Christie’s sold the manuscript for $2.3 million (approximately $3 million today). Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why ‘Friendship Books’ Were the 17th-Century Version of Facebook," 1 Sep. 2020 If the crowd was unsatisfied, the manuscript changed; these new spectators were also collaborators. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "How Are Audiences Adapting to the Age of Virtual Theatre?," 5 Oct. 2020 As long as the manuscript was approved before actual publication, the U.S. Government was satisfied. Washington Post, "Judge rejects John Bolton bid to dismiss government lawsuit seeking book proceeds," 1 Oct. 2020 The government has argued that Bolton endangered national security by publishing the book without completing a review process to scrub classified information from the manuscript. David Yaffe-bellany,, "Bolton Denies Wrongdoing Amid Reports of Criminal Probe of Book," 15 Sep. 2020 Brown then reworked the manuscript with editors at University of Minnesota Press. Jon Bream, Star Tribune, "Bassist BrownMark's life with Prince & the Revolution detailed in new memoir," 10 Sep. 2020 Believed to have originated sometime between 1404 and 1438, the manuscript is filled with mysterious illustrations and diagrams that appear to depict unusual plants, and women with swollen bellies bathing in green pools, among other things. Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | MASTERSON ONLINE: A stunning world," 5 Sep. 2020

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

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First Known Use of manuscript


1597, in the meaning defined above


1571, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for manuscript


Latin manu scriptus

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Time Traveler for manuscript

Time Traveler

The first known use of manuscript was in 1571

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Cite this Entry

“Manuscript.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for manuscript



English Language Learners Definition of manuscript

: the original copy of a play, book, piece of music, etc., before it has been printed


man·​u·​script | \ ˈman-yə-ˌskript How to pronounce manuscript (audio) \

Kids Definition of manuscript

1 : a document written by hand especially before the development of printing
2 : the original copy of a writer's work before it is printed

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