What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[man-lee] /ˈmæn li/
adjective, manlier, manliest.
having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength or bravery.
pertaining to or suitable for males:
manly sports.
Archaic. in a manly manner.
Origin of manly
before 900; Middle English (adj., adv.); Old English manlīc (adj.), manlīce (adv.). See man1, -ly
Related forms
manliness, noun
Manly, manful, mannish mean having the traits or qualities that a culture regards as especially characteristic of or ideally appropriate to adult men. Manly is usually a term of approval, suggesting traits admired by society, such as determination, decisiveness, and steadiness: a manly acceptance of the facts; manly firmness of character. Manful, also a term of approval, stresses qualities such as courage, strength, and fortitude: a manful effort to overcome great odds. Mannish is most often used derogatorily in reference to the traits, manners, or accouterments of a woman that are thought to be more appropriate to or typical of a man: a mannish abruptness in her speech; She wore a severely mannish suit. See also male.
1. weak, cowardly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for manliness
  • These guys felt he was compromising the overall manliness of the mission.
  • In a world of tribes and thugs manliness still goes a long way.
  • Living models of manliness, grace, and beauty were daily before the artist's eye.
  • The womanly grace of temperament merely enhanced the unusual manliness of his character and impression.
  • Having left boyishness behind, he achieves a manliness unusual among authors and even among fighters.
  • The accessory apparently is meant to imply manliness, or perhaps it's simply an aggressive display of bad taste.
  • It should be remembered that brutality is not manliness, but cowardice.
  • But apart from these ostentatious displays of manliness, the predominant voice is unguarded, self-revealing.
  • Hardly the bravest among them have the manliness to resist it successfully.
  • He never thought any of these things too weak for manliness.
British Dictionary definitions for manliness


adjective -lier, -liest
possessing qualities, such as vigour or courage, generally regarded as appropriate to or typical of a man; masculine
characteristic of or befitting a man: a manly sport
Derived Forms
manliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for manliness

late 14c., from manly + -ness.



c.1200, "human; characteristic of human beings," from man (n.) + -ly (1). Sense of "possessing virtues proper to a male person" (resoluteness, steadfastness, reliability) is from early 13c. Meaning "masculine" is attested from late 14c. Old English had werlic "male, masculine, manly."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for manly

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for manliness

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with manliness

Nearby words for manliness