1 [man]
noun, plural men.
an adult male person, as distinguished from a boy or a woman.
a member of the species Homo sapiens or all the members of this species collectively, without regard to sex: prehistoric man.
the human individual as representing the species, without reference to sex; the human race; humankind: Man hopes for peace, but prepares for war.
a human being; person: to give a man a chance; When the audience smelled the smoke, it was every man for himself.
a husband.
a male lover or sweetheart.
a male follower or subordinate: the king's men. He's the boss's number one man.
a male employee or representative, especially of a company or agency: a Secret Service man; a man from the phone company.
a male having qualities considered typical of men or appropriately masculine: Be a man. The army will make a man of you.
a male servant.
a valet.
an enthusiast or devotee: I like jazz, but I'm essentially a classics man.
Slang. male friend; ally: You're my main man.
a term of familiar address to a man; fellow: Now, now, my good man, please calm down.
Slang. a term of familiar address to a man or a woman: Hey, man, take it easy.
one of the pieces used in playing certain games, as chess or checkers.
History/Historical. a liegeman; vassal.
Obsolete. manly character or courage.
the man, Slang.
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.
a person or group upon whom one is dependent, as the drug supplier for an addict.
Also, the Man.
verb (used with object), manned, manning.
to furnish with men, as for service or defense.
to take one's place for service, as at a gun or post: to man the ramparts.
to strengthen, fortify, or brace; steel: to man oneself for the dangers ahead.
Falconry. to accustom (a hawk) to the presence of men.
Slang. an expression of surprise, enthusiasm, dismay, or other strong feeling: Man, what a ball game!
Verb phrases
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.
as one man, in complete agreement or accord; unanimously: They arose as one man to protest the verdict.
be one's own man,
to be free from restrictions, control, or dictatorial influence; be independent: Now that he has a business he is his own man.
to be in complete command of one's faculties: After a refreshing nap he was again his own man.
man and boy, ever since childhood: He's been working that farm, man and boy, for more than 50 years.
man's man, a man who exemplifies masculine qualities.
to a man, with no exception; everyone; all: To a man, the members of the team did their best.

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 garrison

manless, adjective
manlessly, adverb
manlessness, noun
manness, noun

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.

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. Unabridged


2 [mahn, man; unstressed muhn]
auxiliary verb Scot.


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


a combining form of man: layman; postman.

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To MaN
World English Dictionary
man (mæn)
n , pl men
1.  an adult male human being, as distinguished from a woman
2.  (modifier) male; masculine: a 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; mankind: the development of man
5.  Also called: modern man
 a.  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
 b.  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 virility: be a man
8.  manly qualities or virtues: the man in him was outraged
9.  a.  a subordinate, servant, or employee contrasted with an employer or manager
 b.  (in combination): the number of man-days required to complete a job
10.  (usually plural) a member of the armed forces who does not hold commissioned, warrant, or noncommissioned rank (as in the phrase officers and men)
11.  a member of a group, team, etc
12.  a husband, boyfriend, etc: man and wife
13.  an expression used parenthetically to indicate an informal relationship between speaker and hearer
14.  a movable piece in various games, such as draughts
15.  slang (South African) any person: used as a term of address
16.  a vassal of a feudal lord
17.  as one man with unanimous action or response
18.  be one's own man to be independent or free
19.  he's your man he's the person needed (for a particular task, role, job, etc)
20.  man and boy from childhood
21.  sort out the men from the boys, separate the men from the boys to separate the experienced from the inexperienced
22.  to a man
 a.  unanimously
 b.  without exception: they were slaughtered to a man
23.  informal an exclamation or expletive, often indicating surprise or pleasure
vb , men, mans, manning, manned
24.  to provide with sufficient people for operation, defence, etc: to man the phones
25.  to take one's place at or near in readiness for action
26.  falconry to induce (a hawk or falcon) to endure the presence of and handling by man, esp strangers
[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

Man1 (mæn)
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

Man2 (mæn)
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: 75 000 (2003 est). Area: 588 sq km (227 sq miles)

n combining form
indicating a person who has a role, works in a place, or operates equipment as specified: salesman; 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

maun, man or mun (mɑːn, mɔːn, mɑːn, mɔːn, mʌn)
a dialect word for must
[C14: from Old Norse man must, will]
man, man or mun
[C14: from Old Norse man must, will]
mun, man or mun
[C14: from Old Norse man must, will]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. man, mann "human being, person," from P.Gmc. *manwaz (cf. O.S., O.H.G. man, Ger. Mann, O.N. maðr, Goth. manna "man"), from PIE base *man- (cf. Skt. manuh, Avestan manu-, O.C.S. mozi, Rus. muzh "man, male"). 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. Plural men (Ger. Männer) shows effects of i-mutation. Sense of "adult male" is late (c.1000); O.E. 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, L. had homo "human being" and vir "adult male human being," but they merged in V.L., 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. Skt. vira-, Lith. vyras, L. vir, O.Ir. fer, Goth. wair) and *hner "man," a title more of honor than *uiHro (cf. Skt. nar-, Armenian ayr, Welsh ner, Gk. aner). 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. Men's Liberation first attested 1970.
"At the kinges court, my brother, Ech man for himself." [Chaucer, "Knight's Tale," c.1386]

early 12c., "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. Related: Manned.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Computing Dictionary

MAN definition

Metropolitan Area Network

man definition

Unix manual page

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. Metropolitan Area Network

  2. Ringway International Airport (Manchester, England)

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Bible Dictionary

Man definition

(1.) Heb. 'Adam, used as the proper name of the first man. The name is derived from a word meaning "to be red," and thus the first man was called Adam because he was formed from the red earth. It is also the generic name of the human race (Gen. 1:26, 27; 5:2; 8:21; Deut. 8:3). Its equivalents are the Latin homo and the Greek anthropos (Matt. 5:13, 16). It denotes also man in opposition to woman (Gen. 3:12; Matt. 19:10). (2.) Heb. 'ish, like the Latin vir and Greek aner, denotes properly a man in opposition to a woman (1 Sam. 17:33; Matt. 14:21); a husband (Gen. 3:16; Hos. 2:16); man with reference to excellent mental qualities. (3.) Heb. 'enosh, man as mortal, transient, perishable (2 Chr. 14:11; Isa. 8:1; Job 15:14; Ps. 8:4; 9:19, 20; 103:15). It is applied to women (Josh. 8:25). (4.) Heb. geber, man with reference to his strength, as distinguished from women (Deut. 22:5) and from children (Ex. 12:37); a husband (Prov. 6:34). (5.) Heb. methim, men as mortal (Isa. 41:14), and as opposed to women and children (Deut. 3:6; Job 11:3; Isa. 3:25). Man was created by the immediate hand of God, and is generically different from all other creatures (Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:7). His complex nature is composed of two elements, two distinct substances, viz., body and soul (Gen. 2:7; Eccl. 12:7; 2 Cor. 5:1-8). The words translated "spirit" and "soul," in 1 Thess. 5:23, Heb. 4:12, are habitually used interchangeably (Matt. 10:28; 16:26; 1 Pet. 1:22). The "spirit" (Gr. pneuma) is the soul as rational; the "soul" (Gr. psuche) is the same, considered as the animating and vital principle of the body. Man was created in the likeness of God as to the perfection of his nature, in knowledge (Col. 3:10), righteousness, and holiness (Eph. 4:24), and as having dominion over all the inferior creatures (Gen. 1:28). He had in his original state God's law written on his heart, and had power to obey it, and yet was capable of disobeying, being left to the freedom of his own will. He was created with holy dispositions, prompting him to holy actions; but he was fallible, and did fall from his integrity (3:1-6). (See FALL.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with man, 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 under men.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
This Samoan man's extensive tattoos indicate his tribal status.
It's been a truth universally acknowledged that a young man in pursuit of his
  fortune travels West.
The straw man is used in countless other contexts as well.
It made him a rich man.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature