Word Origin & History
O.E. monigfald (Anglian), manigfeald (W.Saxon), "varied in appearance," from manig "many" + -feald "fold." A common Gmc. compound (cf. O.Fris. manichfald, M.Du. menichvout, Swed. mångfalt, Goth. managfalþs), perhaps a loan-translation of L. multiplex (see
). Retains the original pronunciation of many. The noun in the mechanical sense of "pipe or chamber with several outlets" is from 1884; originally as manifold pipe (1857), in ref. to a type of musical instrument mentioned in the O.T.