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[man-fuh l] /ˈmæn fəl/
having or showing boldness, courage, or strength; resolute.
Origin of manful
1250-1300; Middle English; see man1, -ful
Related forms
manfully, adverb
manfulness, noun
unmanful, adjective
unmanfully, adverb
unmanfulness, noun
See manly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for manful
Historical Examples
  • But his wife, who had more than a man's courage, chid his weakness, and put heart into him with her manful admonitions.

    The Danish History, Books I-IX Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")
  • The Captain bore the shock of the refusal with, to say the least, manful resignation.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The passionate gladness of the lover was wanting: the chivalrous valiancy of manful joy.

  • They met, as was the phrase of the time, "manful under shield."

    Anne of Geierstein Walter Scott
  • At five-and-twenty I did not trust myself; but I took a manful resolution.

    Honorine Honore de Balzac
  • He might have used nicer language, perhaps, but his inner sense was manful.

    Erema R. D. Blackmore
  • To quit the field, you think less disgraceful than to suffer defeat in a fair and manful fight?

  • Her husband, also, and the men-servants maintained a manful struggle.

    Trevethlan (Vol 3 of 3) William Davy Watson
  • Let clergymen preach as in duty bound; you and I'll uphold a manful sport, we will, and a cheer for Bob!'

  • "It was a good lie," declared Nicholas, in manful defence of the weak.

    The Voice of the People Ellen Glasgow
British Dictionary definitions for manful


a less common word for manly
Derived Forms
manfully, adverb
manfulness, 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 manful

late 14c., "courageous, brave, resolute," from man (n.) + -ful.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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