9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[man-yoo-uh l] /ˈmæn yu əl/
done, operated, worked, etc., by the hand or hands rather than by an electrical or electronic device:
a manual gearshift.
involving or using human effort, skill, power, energy, etc.; physical:
manual labor.
of or relating to the hand or hands:
manual deformities.
of the nature of a manual or handbook:
manual instructions.
a small book, especially one giving information or instructions:
a manual of mathematical tables.
a nonelectric or nonelectronic typewriter; a typewriter whose keys and carriage may be powered solely by the typist's hands.
Military. the prescribed drill in handling a rifle:
the manual of arms.
Music. a keyboard, especially one of several belonging to a pipe organ.
Automotive. manual transmission.
Origin of manual
late Middle English
1375-1425; < Latin manuālis (adj.), manuāle (noun) (something) that can be held in the hand (manu(s) hand + -ālis, -āle -al1, -al2); replacing late Middle English manuel < Middle French < Latin, as above
Related forms
manually, adverb
nonmanual, adjective
nonmanually, adverb
unmanual, adjective
unmanually, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for manual
  • Which is why his book is styled as a manual, full of sensible, practiced advice.
  • The antibody itself is not a vaccine, but it could be an instruction manual for making one.
  • One of the main things preventing robots from lending a hand with everyday tasks is a simple lack of manual dexterity.
  • To make the replacement, read the instruction manual to get an overview of the job.
  • One section of the manual covered the ejection system.
  • With most automatic-exposure systems, the user is afforded some degree of manual override.
  • Skilled manual labor is far more cognitive than people realize, Crawford argues, and deserves more respect.
  • This would be the whole publication manual, not the smaller electronic style guide.
  • In such systems the computer will not allow foolish manual changes.
  • This manual's authors heartily endorse the chant as completely accessible and effective at achieving desires for self and others.
British Dictionary definitions for manual


of or relating to a hand or hands
operated or done by hand: manual controls
physical, as opposed to mental or mechanical: manual labour
by human labour rather than automatic or computer-aided means
of, relating to, or resembling a manual
a book, esp of instructions or information: a car manual
(music) one of the keyboards played by hand on an organ
(military) the prescribed drill with small arms
Derived Forms
manually, adverb
Word Origin
C15: via Old French from Latin manuālis, from manus hand
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 manual

c.1400, from Latin manualis "of or belonging to the hand; that can be thrown by hand," from manus "hand, strength, power over; armed force; handwriting," from PIE *man- (2) "hand" (cf. Old Norse mund "hand," Old English mund "hand, protection, guardian," German Vormund "guardian," Greek mane "hand").


early 15c., "service book used by a priest," from Old French manuel "handbook" (also "plow-handle"), from Late Latin manuale "case or cover of a book, handbook," noun use of neuter of Latin manualis (see manual (adj.)). Meaning "a concise handbook" of any sort is from 1530s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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