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man Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun an adult person who is male (as opposed to a woman)
    adult male.
    • there were two women and six men on the bus
  2. noun someone who serves in the armed forces; a member of a military force
    military man; serviceman; military personnel.
    • two men stood sentry duty
  3. noun the generic use of the word to refer to any human being
    • it was every man for himself
  4. noun any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae characterized by superior intelligence, articulate speech, and erect carriage
    human being; homo; human.
  5. noun a male subordinate
    • the chief stationed two men outside the building
    • he awaited word from his man in Havana
  6. noun an adult male person who has a manly character (virile and courageous competent)
    • the army will make a man of you
  7. noun a manservant who acts as a personal attendant to his employer
    valet de chambre; gentleman; gentleman's gentleman; valet.
    • Jeeves was Bertie Wooster's man
  8. noun a male person who plays a significant role (husband or lover or boyfriend) in the life of a particular woman
    • she takes good care of her man
  9. noun one of the British Isles in the Irish Sea
    Isle of Man.
  10. noun game equipment consisting of an object used in playing certain board games
    • he taught me to set up the men on the chess board
    • he sacrificed a piece to get a strategic advantage
  11. noun all of the living human inhabitants of the earth
    humans; human race; humankind; mankind; human beings; world; humanity.
    • all the world loves a lover
    • she always used `humankind' because `mankind' seemed to slight the women
  12. verb take charge of a certain job; occupy a certain work place
    • Mr. Smith manned the reception desk in the morning
  13. verb provide with workers
    • We cannot man all the desks
    • Students were manning the booths

Man noun
Abbrev. fr. mamma.
  1. Mamma.
Man noun
AS. mann, man, monn, mon; akin to OS., D., & OHG. man, G. mann, Icel. ma&edh;r, for mannr, Dan. Mand, Sw. man, Goth. manna, Skr. manu, manus, and perh. to Skr. man to think, and E. mind. Cf. Minx a pert girl.
plural Men
  1. A human being; -- opposed tobeast.
    These men went about wide, and man found they none, But fair country, and wild beast many [a] one. R. of Glouc.
    The king is but a man, as I am; the violet smells to him as it doth to me. Shak.
    " 'Tain't a fit night out for man nor beast! " [W.C. Fields]
  2. Especially: An adult male person; a grown-up male person, as distinguished from a woman or a child.
    When I became a man, I put away childish things. I Cor. xiii. 11.
    Ceneus, a woman once, and once a man. Dryden.
  3. The human race; mankind.
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion. Gen. i. 26.
    The proper study of mankind is man. Pope.
  4. The male portion of the human race.
    Woman has, in general, much stronger propensity than man to the discharge of parental duties. Cowper.
  5. One possessing in a high degree the distinctive qualities of manhood; one having manly excellence of any kind. Shak.
    This was the noblest Roman of them all . . . the elements So mixed in him that Nature might stand up And say to all the world "This was a man! Shak.
  6. An adult male servant; also, a vassal; a subject.
    Like master, like man. Old Proverb.
    The vassal, or tenant, kneeling, ungirt, uncovered, and holding up his hands between those of his lord, professed that he did become his man from that day forth, of life, limb, and earthly honor. Blackstone.
  7. A term of familiar address often implying on the part of the speaker some degree of authority, impatience, or haste; as, Come, man, we 've no time to lose !
  8. A married man; a husband; -- correlative to wife.
    I pronounce that they are man and wife. Book of Com. Prayer.
    every wife ought to answer for her man. Addison.
  9. One, or any one, indefinitely; -- a modified survival of the Saxon use of man, or mon, as an indefinite pronoun.
    A man can not make him laugh. Shak.
    A man would expect to find some antiquities; but all they have to show of this nature is an old rostrum of a Roman ship. Addison.
  10. One of the piece with which certain games, as chess or draughts, are played. Man is often used as a prefix in composition, or as a separate adjective, its sense being usually self-explaining; as, man child, man eater or maneater, man-eating, man hater or manhater, man-hating, manhunter, man-hunting, mankiller, man-killing, man midwife, man pleaser, man servant, man-shaped, manslayer, manstealer, man-stealing, manthief, man worship, etc. Man is also used as a suffix to denote a person of the male sex having a business which pertains to the thing spoken of in the qualifying part of the compound; ashman, butterman, laundryman, lumberman, milkman, fireman, showman, waterman, woodman. Where the combination is not familiar, or where some specific meaning of the compound is to be avoided, man is used as a separate substantive in the foregoing sense; as, apple man, cloth man, coal man, hardware man, wood man (as distinguished from woodman).
Man transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Manned ; present participle & verbal noun Manning
  1. To supply with men; to furnish with a sufficient force or complement of men, as for management, service, defense, or the like; to guard; as, to man a ship, boat, or fort.
    See how the surly Warwick mans the wall ! Shak.
    They man their boats, and all their young men arm. Waller.
  2. To furnish with strength for action; to prepare for efficiency; to fortify. "Theodosius having manned his soul with proper reflections." Addison.
  3. To tame, as a hawk. R. Shak.
  4. To furnish with a servants. Obs. Shak.
  5. To wait on as a manservant. Obs. Shak. ✍ In "Othello," V. ii. 270, the meaning is uncertain, being, perhaps: To point, to aim, or to manage.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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