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.
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Examples from the web for manly
  • It's a more manly phone and look more modern than the old phone.
  • He envied every daysman and drover in the tavern their manly speech.
  • He is big enough and manly enough now to tell you of his prior falsehoods and his reasons for them.
  • Bachelors and would-be-manly boys are not the only consumers of tobacco, though they are the best patrons of the bar.
  • And it happens as a way of emphasizing gender differences or expressing manly braggadocio.
  • It probably is a matter of manly pride to have had such an encounter.
  • For those out there who dream of being a little more manly, be careful what you wish for.
  • Whatever it is, it's a manly calling, and he's got to smell manly for it.
  • The indignity was unbearable, yet none of us cried out, knowing that such an emotional display would not have been manly.
  • He viewed his father's career in aviation dismissively, as a less manly pursuit than foot-soldiering.
British Dictionary definitions for manly


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
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Word Origin and History for manly

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
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