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man of the world

a man who is widely experienced in the ways of the world and people; an urbane, sophisticated man.
Origin of man of the world
1300-50; Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for man-of-the-world
Historical Examples
  • He led me into a room, and put a man servant at my disposal with the perfect ease and familiar graciousness of a man-of-the-world.

  • Here is the campaign manager, business man and man-of-the-world.

  • Anthony advanced with his man-of-the-world courtliness, and pressed her outstretched hand.

    A Humble Enterprise Ada Cambridge
  • Bean had envied Bulger from the first for this man-of-the-world ease.

    Bunker Bean Harry Leon Wilson
  • This liberal margin for festivals in Italy gives the masses a more than man-of-the-world urbanity in taking their pleasure.

    Italian Hours Henry James
  • "Well, you know it now," said Willard shortly, his man-of-the-world composure failing him.

    The Wishing Moon Louise Elizabeth Dutton
  • "I've ordered the dinner; I suppose that'll do," he remarked with a man-of-the-world air.

    Adventures of Bindle Herbert George Jenkins
  • Frank liked his man-of-the-world air and did not see the grins on the faces of many of the listeners.

    Battling the Clouds Captain Frank Cobb
  • "Great place," said Joe wisely, in what he thought was going to be quite a man-of-the-world manner.

    The Sport of the Gods Paul Laurence Dunbar
Idioms and Phrases with man-of-the-world

man of the world

Also, woman of the world. A sophisticated person, experienced in social conventions. For example, You can discuss anything with him—he's a man of the world, or She's a woman of the world and understands these delicate issues. The first expression dates from about 1200 and originally meant “a man of the secular world” or “a married man” (that is, not a priest). Shakespeare applied this latter sense in As You Like It (5:3) where Audrey, at the prospect of marriage, says: “I hope it is no dishonest desire to be a woman of the world.” Henry Fielding in Tom Jones (1749) also echoed this earlier sense: “A man of the world; that is to say, a man who directs his conduct in this world as one, who being fully persuaded there is no other, is resolved to make the most of this.” By the mid-1800s the idea of sophistication had replaced this meaning.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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