manus ma·nus (mā'nəs, mān'əs)
n. pl. manus
The distal part of the arm, including the carpus, metacarpus, and digits.
in Roman law, autocratic power of the husband over the wife, corresponding to patria potestas of the father over his children. A daughter ceased to be under her father's potestas if she came under the manus of her husband. Marriage without manus, however, was by far the more common in all periods of Roman history except possibly the very earliest. By the time of the Twelve Tables (451-450 BC), it was possible to be married without manus, so that the wife remained under her father's potestas if he was still alive.
Learn more about manus with a free trial on Britannica.com.