to the manner born


1 [man-er]
a way of doing, being done, or happening; mode of action, occurrence, etc.: I don't like the manner in which he complained.
the prevailing customs, ways of living, and habits of a people, class, period, etc.; mores: The novels of Jane Austen are concerned with the manners of her time.
ways of behaving with reference to polite standards; social comportment: That child has good manners.
a person's outward bearing; way of speaking to and treating others: She has a charming manner.
characteristic or customary way of doing, making, saying, etc.: houses built in the 19th-century manner.
air of distinction: That old gentleman had quite a manner.
(used with a singular or plural verb) kind; sort: What manner of man is he? All manner of things were happening.
characteristic style in art, literature, or the like: verses in the manner of Spenser.
nature; character.
guise; fashion.
by all manner of means, by all means; certainly.
by no manner of means, under no circumstances; by no means; certainly not: She was by no manner of means a frivolous person.
in a manner, so to speak; after a fashion; somewhat.
in a manner of speaking, in a way; as it were; so to speak: We were, in a manner of speaking, babes in the woods.
to the manner born,
accustomed by birth to a high position: He was a gentleman to the manner born.
used to a particular custom, activity, or role from birth.

1125–75; Middle English manere < Anglo-French; Old French maniereVulgar Latin *manuāria, noun use of feminine of manuārius handy, convenient (Latin: of, pertaining to the hand). See manus, -er2

manna, manner, manor.

1. method. 3. demeanor, deportment. Manner, air, bearing all refer to one's outward aspect or behavior. Manner applies to a distinctive mode of behavior, or social attitude toward others, etc.: a gracious manner. Air applies to outward appearance insofar as this is distinctive or indicative: an air of martyrdom. Airs imply affectation: to put on airs. Bearing applies especially to carriage: a noble bearing. 4. mode, fashion, style; habit, custom. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
manner (ˈmænə)
1.  a way of doing or being
2.  a person's bearing and behaviour: she had a cool manner
3.  the style or customary way of doing or accomplishing something: sculpture in the Greek manner
4.  type or kind: what manner of man is this?
5.  mannered style, as in art; mannerism
6.  by all manner of means certainly; of course
7.  by no manner of means definitely not: he was by no manner of means a cruel man
8.  in a manner of speaking in a way; so to speak
9.  to the manner born naturally fitted to a specified role or activity
[C12: via Norman French from Old French maniere, from Vulgar Latin manuāria (unattested) a way of handling something, noun use of Latin manuārius belonging to the hand, from manus hand]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 12c., from Anglo-Fr. manere, from O.Fr. maniere (Fr. manière), from V.L. *manaria, from fem. of L. manuarius "belonging to the hand," from manus "hand" (see manual). Most figurative meanings derive from the original sense of "method of handling;" which was extended
when the word was used to translate L. modus "method." To the manner born ("Hamlet" I iv.15) is generally used incorrectly, and means "destined by birth to be subject to the custom."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

to the manner born definition

A person who is “to the manner born” is one who has acquired genteel tastes and habits by virtue of having been born into a privileged class: “Rachel is charming at dinner parties — as if she were to the manner born.” This expression is sometimes mistakenly rendered as “to the manor born.” The phrase is from Hamlet, by William Shakespeare.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

to the manner born

Accustomed from birth to a particular behavior or lifestyle, as in At a high-society function she behaves as though to the manner born, but we know she came from very humble circumstances. This term was invented by Shakespeare in Hamlet. Referring to the King's carousing in Danish style, Hamlet says (1:4): "Though I am native here And to the manner born, it is a custom More honor'd in the breach than the observance." The manner in this expression was later sometimes changed to manor, "the main house of an estate," and the idiom's sense became equated with "high-born" (and therefore accustomed to luxury), a way in which it is often used today.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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