Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for manly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But immediately a new, manly feeling of self-pride took possession of him.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • It must have been a sore trial to his manly heart at all events.

  • Mr. manly, my attorney will let you know the business on which I am come.

    Next Door Neighbours Elizabeth Inchbald
  • She trembled in his manly embrace, as the dove trembles in the talons of the eagle.

    Dona Perfecta B. Perez Galdos
  • That shows work, but I know you—Genia—you will tell me work is manly.

    The Voice of the People Ellen Glasgow
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for manly

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for manly

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for manly