man 1[man] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for man on noun, plural men.

  1. an adult male person, as distinguished from a boy or a woman.
  2. a member of the species Homo sapiens or all the members of this species collectively, without regard to sex: prehistoric man.
  3. the human individual as representing the species, without reference to sex; the human race; humankind: Man hopes for peace, but prepares for war.
  4. a human being; person: to give a man a chance; When the audience smelled the smoke, it was every man for himself.
  5. a husband.
  6. a male lover or sweetheart.
  7. a male follower or subordinate: the king’s men. He’s the boss’s number one man.
  8. a male employee or representative, especially of a company or agency: a Secret Service man; a man from the phone company.
  9. a male having qualities considered typical of men or appropriately masculine: Be a man. The army will make a man of you.
  10. a male servant.
  11. a valet.
  12. enlisted man.
  13. an enthusiast or devotee: I like jazz, but I’m essentially a classics man.
  14. Slang. male friend; ally: You’re my main man.
  15. a term of familiar address to a man; fellow: Now, now, my good man, please calm down.
  16. Slang. a term of familiar address to a man or a woman: Hey, man, take it easy.
  17. one of the pieces used in playing certain games, as chess or checkers.
  18. History/Historical. a liegeman; vassal.
  19. Obsolete. manly character or courage.
  20. the man, Slang.
    1. a person or group asserting authority or power over another, especially in a manner experienced as being oppressive, demeaning, or threatening, as an employer, the police, or a dominating racial group.
    2. a person or group upon whom one is dependent, as the drug supplier for an addict.

    Also the Man.

verb (used with object), manned, man·ning.

  1. to furnish with men, as for service or defense.
  2. to take one’s place for service, as at a gun or post: to man the ramparts.
  3. to strengthen, fortify, or brace; steel: to man oneself for the dangers ahead.
  4. Falconry. to accustom (a hawk) to the presence of men.


  1. Slang. an expression of surprise, enthusiasm, dismay, or other strong feeling: Man, what a ball game!

Verb Phrases

  1. man up, Informal. to act in a typically masculine way, as in taking responsibility or making tough decisions: He should man up and meet the challenge.


  1. as one man, in complete agreement or accord; unanimously: They arose as one man to protest the verdict.
  2. be one’s own man,
    1. to be free from restrictions, control, or dictatorial influence; be independent: Now that he has a business he is his own man.
    2. to be in complete command of one’s faculties: After a refreshing nap he was again his own man.
  3. man and boy, ever since childhood: He’s been working that farm, man and boy, for more than 50 years.
  4. man’s man, a man who exemplifies masculine qualities.
  5. to a man, with no exception; everyone; all: To a man, the members of the team did their best.

Origin of man 1 before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English man(n); cognate with German Mann, Dutch man, Old Norse mathr, Gothic manna; (v.) Middle English mannen, Old English mannian to garrisonRelated formsman·less, adjectiveman·less·ly, adverbman·less·ness, nounman·ness, nounSynonyms for man See more synonyms for on Man, male, gentleman are nouns referring to adult human beings who are biologically male; that is, physiologically equipped to initiate conception but not to bear children. Man is the most general and most commonly used of the three; it can be neutral, lacking either favorable or unfavorable implication: a wealthy man; a man of strong character, of unbridled appetites. It can also signify possession of the most typical or desirable masculine qualities: to take one’s punishment like a man. Male emphasizes the physical or sexual characteristics of a man; it may also refer to an animal or plant: a male in his prime; two males and three females in the pack; a male of the genus Ilex. In scientific and statistical use, male is the neutral contrastive term to female : 104 females to every 100 males; Among birds, the male is often more colorful than the female. Gentleman, once used only of men of high social rank, now also specifies a man of courtesy and consideration: a real gentleman; to behave like a gentleman. Gentleman is also used as a polite term of reference ( This gentleman is waiting for a table ) or, only in the plural, of address ( Are we ready to begin, gentlemen? ). See also manly, male.Usage note The use of man1 to mean “human being,” both alone and in compounds such as mankind, has met with objection in recent years, and the use is declining. The objection is based on the idea that man is most commonly used as an exclusive, sex-marked noun meaning “male human being.” Critics of the use of man as a generic maintain that it is sometimes ambiguous when the wider sense is intended ( Man has built magnificent civilizations in the desert ), but more often flatly discriminatory in that it slights or ignores the membership of women in the human race: The man in the street wants peace, not war.
Although some editors and writers reject or disregard these objections to man as a generic, many now choose instead to use such terms as human being ( s ), human race, humankind, people, or, when called for by style or context, women and men or men and women. See also -man, -person, -woman. man 2[mahn, man; unstressed muh n] auxiliary verb Scot.

  1. maun.

Man [man] noun

  1. Isle of, an island of the British Isles, in the Irish Sea. 227 sq. mi. (588 sq. km). Capital: Douglas.


  1. manual.


  1. a combining form of man1: layman; postman.

Usage note The use of -man as the last element in compounds referring to a person of either sex who performs some function ( anchorman; chairman; spokesman ) has declined a great deal in recent years. Only if the reference is to a specific male person are such compounds still widely used: Roy Johnston, Channel 83 news anchorman. Sometimes the sex-neutral -person is substituted for -man when the sex of the individual involved is unknown or irrelevant: anchorperson; chairperson; spokesperson. Often when a specific woman is involved, the suffix -woman is used: Doris Powell, Channel 83 news anchorwoman. And sometimes, when possible, a form with no suffix at all is used: Roy Johnston, Channel 83 news anchor.
All terms historically ending in -man that designate specific occupations ( foreman; mailman; policeman; repairman; etc.) were dropped in favor of sex-neutral terms in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), published by the U.S. Dept. of Labor in 1977. DOT terms for the occupations listed above are supervisor, mail or letter carrier, police officer (or just officer ), repairer (as in radio repairer ). Many industries and business firms have adopted similar sex-neutral occupational titles.
One -man compound, freshman, is still the term generally used in high schools and colleges and in Congress, and it is applied to both sexes. As a modifier, the singular form freshman is used with both singular and plural nouns: a freshman athlete; freshman legislators. See also chairperson, man, -person, -woman. Man.

  1. Manila.
  2. Manitoba.

de Man [duh man, mahn] noun

  1. Paul,1919–83, U.S. literary critic and theorist, born in Belgium.

Related Words for man father, brother, son, guy, fellow, husband, he, sir, beau, gentleman, grandfather, papa, swain, spouse, boyfriend, Mr., uncle, nephew Examples from the Web for man Contemporary Examples of man

  • In the first episode, an officer is shown video of himself shooting and killing a man.

    ‘Babylon’ Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops

    Melissa Leon

    January 9, 2015

  • That man was Xavier Cortada, a gay man who wrote of his frustration that he and his partner of eight years were unable to marry.

    Jeb Bush’s Unseen Anti-Gay Marriage Emails

    Jackie Kucinich

    January 9, 2015

  • It is the summit of human happiness: the surrender of man to God, of woman to man, of several women to the same man.

    Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President

    Pierre Assouline

    January 9, 2015

  • He looks like a man who should have had kids, but now never will.

    The Muslim Cop Killed by Terrorists

    Michael Daly

    January 9, 2015

  • The governor of Punjab province, a Muslim man, called publicly for leniency for her.

    In Defense of Blasphemy

    Michael Tomasky

    January 9, 2015

  • Historical Examples of man

  • Here he had prestige because he was the son of Daniel Bines, organiser and man of affairs.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • No one knows what that man suffers; it makes him gloomy all the time about everything.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • If that man was a woman he’d be a warm neighbourhood gossip.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I see some man in the East has a fad for breaking the ice in the river and going swimming.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • No man ventured to interfere with this lawful exercise of his authority.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • British Dictionary definitions for man man noun plural men (mɛn)

    1. an adult male human being, as distinguished from a woman
    2. (modifier) male; masculinea man child
    3. archaic a human being regardless of sex or age, considered as a representative of mankind; a person
    4. (sometimes capital) human beings collectively; mankindthe development of man
    5. Also called: modern man
      1. a member of any of the living races of Homo sapiens, characterized by erect bipedal posture, a highly developed brain, and powers of articulate speech, abstract reasoning, and imagination
      2. any extinct member of the species Homo sapiens, such as Cro-Magnon man
    6. a member of any of the extinct species of the genus Homo, such as Java man, Heidelberg man, and Solo man
    7. an adult male human being with qualities associated with the male, such as courage or virilitybe a man
    8. manly qualities or virtuesthe man in him was outraged
      1. a subordinate, servant, or employee contrasted with an employer or manager
      2. (in combination)the number of man-days required to complete a job
    9. (usually plural) a member of the armed forces who does not hold commissioned, warrant, or noncommissioned rank (as in the phrase officers and men)
    10. a member of a group, team, etc
    11. a husband, boyfriend, etcman and wife
    12. an expression used parenthetically to indicate an informal relationship between speaker and hearer
    13. a movable piece in various games, such as draughts
    14. Southern African slang any person: used as a term of address
    15. a vassal of a feudal lord
    16. as one man with unanimous action or response
    17. be one’s own man to be independent or free
    18. he’s your man he’s the person needed (for a particular task, role, job, etc)
    19. man and boy from childhood
    20. sort out the men from the boys or separate the men from the boys to separate the experienced from the inexperienced
    21. to a man
      1. unanimously
      2. without exceptionthey were slaughtered to a man


    1. informal an exclamation or expletive, often indicating surprise or pleasure

    verb mans, manning or manned (tr)

    1. to provide with sufficient people for operation, defence, etcto man the phones
    2. to take one’s place at or near in readiness for action
    3. falconry to induce (a hawk or falcon) to endure the presence of and handling by man, esp strangers

    Derived Formsmanless, adjectiveWord Origin for man Old English mann; related to Old Frisian man, Old High German man, Dutch man, Icelandic mathr usage The use of man to mean human beings in general is often considered sexist. Gender-neutral alternatives include human beings, people and humankind . The verb to man can also often be replaced by to staff, to operate and related words Man 1 noun the Man (sometimes not capital) US

    1. Black slang a White man or White men collectively, esp when in authority, in the police, or held in contempt
    2. slang a drug peddler

    Man 2 noun

    1. Isle of Man an island in the British Isles, in the Irish Sea between Cumbria and Northern Ireland: a UK Crown Dependency (but not part of the United Kingdom), with its own ancient parliament, the Court of Tynwald; a dependency of Norway until 1266, when for a time it came under Scottish rule; its own language, Manx, became extinct in the 19th century but has been revived to some extent. Capital: Douglas. Pop: 86 159 (2013 est). Area: 588 sq km (227 sq miles)

    -man n combining form

    1. indicating a person who has a role, works in a place, or operates equipment as specifiedsalesman; barman; cameraman

    usage The use of words ending in -man is avoided as implying a male in job advertisements, where sexual discrimination is illegal, and in many other contexts where a term that is not gender-specific is available, such as salesperson, barperson, camera operator Word Origin and History for man n.

    Old English man, mann “human being, person (male or female); brave man, hero; servant, vassal,” from Proto-Germanic *manwaz (cf. Old Saxon, Swedish, Dutch, Old High German man, German Mann, Old Norse maðr, Danish mand, Gothic manna “man”), from PIE root *man- (1) “man” (cf. Sanskrit manuh, Avestan manu-, Old Church Slavonic mozi, Russian muzh “man, male”).

    Plural men (German Männer) shows effects of i-mutation. Sometimes connected to root *men- “to think” (see mind), which would make the ground sense of man “one who has intelligence,” but not all linguists accept this. Liberman, for instance, writes, “Most probably man ‘human being’ is a secularized divine name” from Mannus [cf. Tacitus, “Germania,” chap. 2], “believed to be the progenitor of the human race.”

    So I am as he that seythe, `Come hyddr John, my man.’ [1473]

    Sense of “adult male” is late (c.1000); Old English used wer and wif to distinguish the sexes, but wer began to disappear late 13c. and was replaced by man. Universal sense of the word remains in mankind and manslaughter. Similarly, Latin had homo “human being” and vir “adult male human being,” but they merged in Vulgar Latin, with homo extended to both senses. A like evolution took place in Slavic languages, and in some of them the word has narrowed to mean “husband.” PIE had two stems: *uiHro “freeman” (cf. Sanskrit vira-, Lithuanian vyras, Latin vir, Old Irish fer, Gothic wair) and *hner “man,” a title more of honor than *uiHro (cf. Sanskrit nar-, Armenian ayr, Welsh ner, Greek aner).

    MAN TRAP. A woman’s commodity. [“Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence,” London, 1811]

    Man also was in Old English as an indefinite pronoun, “one, people, they.” The chess pieces so called from c.1400. As an interjection of surprise or emphasis, first recorded c.1400, but especially popular from early 20c. Man-about-town is from 1734; the Man “the boss” is from 1918. To be man or mouse “be brave or be timid” is from 1540s. Men’s Liberation first attested 1970.

    At the kinges court, my brother, Ech man for himself. [Chaucer, “Knight’s Tale,” c.1386] v.

    Old English mannian “to furnish (a fort, ship, etc.) with a company of men,” from man (n.). Meaning “to take up a designated position on a ship” is first recorded 1690s. Meaning “behave like a man, act with courage” is from c.1400. To man (something) out is from 1660s. Related: Manned; manning.

    Idioms and Phrases with man man

    In addition to the idioms beginning with man

  • man about town
  • man in the street
  • man of few words
  • man of his word
  • man of the moment
  • man of the world
  • many a
  • many hands make light work
  • many happy returns
  • many is the
  • also see:

  • as one (man)
  • company man
  • dead soldier (man)
  • dirty joke (old man)
  • every man for himself
  • every man has his price
  • girl (man) Friday
  • hatchet man
  • hired hand (man)
  • ladies’ man
  • low man on the totem pole
  • marked man
  • new person (man)
  • no man is an island
  • odd man out
  • (man) of few words
  • one man’s meat is another man’s poison
  • own man
  • right-hand man
  • see a man about a dog
  • to a man
  • Also see undermen.

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