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[man-uh-fest] /ˈmæn əˌfɛst/
readily perceived by the eye or the understanding; evident; obvious; apparent; plain:
a manifest error.
Psychoanalysis. of or relating to conscious feelings, ideas, and impulses that contain repressed psychic material:
the manifest content of a dream as opposed to the latent content that it conceals.
verb (used with object)
to make clear or evident to the eye or the understanding; show plainly:
He manifested his approval with a hearty laugh.
to prove; put beyond doubt or question:
The evidence manifests the guilt of the defendant.
to record in a ship's manifest.
a list of the cargo carried by a ship, made for the use of various agents and officials at the ports of destination.
a list or invoice of goods transported by truck or train.
a list of the cargo or passengers carried on an airplane.
Origin of manifest
1350-1400; (adj.) Middle English < Latin manifestus, manufestus detected in the act, evident, visible; (v.) Middle English manifesten < Middle French manifester < Latin manifestāre, derivative of manifestus. See manus, infest
Related forms
manifestable, adjective
manifester, noun
manifestly, adverb
manifestness, noun
nonmanifest, adjective
nonmanifestly, adverb
nonmanifestness, noun
premanifest, verb
remanifest, verb (used with object)
self-manifest, adjective
supermanifest, verb (used with object)
unmanifest, adjective
unmanifested, adjective
1. clear, distinct, unmistakable, patent, open, palpable, visible, conspicuous. 3. reveal, disclose, evince, evidence, demonstrate, declare, express. See display.
1. obscure. 3. conceal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for manifestly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In color he was manifestly white, for all that dirt and the weather could do to disguise it.

    In the Morning of Time Charles G. D. Roberts
  • The reflection is manifestly Shakespeare's own, and here the form, too, is characteristic.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • He was the first man to enter the room and was manifestly the leader of the party.

    John Marvel, Assistant Thomas Nelson Page
  • All these are manifestly characteristics of Hamlet, and Posthumus possesses no others.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • But this is manifestly false in Ireland, for the following reason.

    Ireland in the Days of Dean Swift Jonathan Swift and J. Bowles (John Bowles) Daly
British Dictionary definitions for manifestly


easily noticed or perceived; obvious; plain
(psychoanal) of or relating to the ostensible elements of a dream: manifest content Compare latent (sense 5)
(transitive) to show plainly; reveal or display: to manifest great emotion
(transitive) to prove beyond doubt
(intransitive) (of a disembodied spirit) to appear in visible form
(transitive) to list in a ship's manifest
a customs document containing particulars of a ship, its cargo, and its destination
  1. a list of cargo, passengers, etc, on an aeroplane
  2. a list of railway trucks or their cargo
  3. (mainly US & Canadian) a fast freight train carrying perishables
Derived Forms
manifestable, adjective
manifestly, adverb
manifestness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin manifestus plain, literally: struck with the hand, from manū with the hand + -festus struck
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 manifestly

"clearly," early 15c., from manifest (adj.) + -ly (2).



late 14c., "clearly revealed," from Old French manifest "evident, palpable," (12c.), or directly from Latin manifestus "plainly apprehensible, clear, apparent, evident;" of offenses, "proved by direct evidence;" of offenders, "caught in the act," probably from manus "hand" (see manual) + -festus "struck" (cf. second element of infest).

Other nations have tried to check ... the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the Continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions. [John O'Sullivan (1813-1895), "U.S. Magazine & Democratic Review," July 1845]
The phrase apparently is O'Sullivan's coinage; the notion is as old as the republic.


late 14c., "to spread" (one's fame), "to show plainly," from manifest (adj.) or else from Latin manifestare "to discover, disclose, betray" (see manifest (adj.)). Meaning "to display by actions" is from 1560s; reflective sense, of diseases, etc., "to reveal as in operation" is from 1808. Related: Manifested; manifesting.


"ship's cargo," 1706; see manifest (adj.). Earlier, "a public declaration" (c.1600; cf. manifesto), from French manifeste, verbal noun from manifester. Earlier still in English as "a manifestation" (1560s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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