Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. In the Bible, the food miraculously provided for the Israelites in the wilderness during their flight from Egypt.
  • n. Spiritual nourishment of divine origin.
  • n. Something of value that a person receives unexpectedly: viewed the bonus as manna from heaven.
  • n. The dried exudate of certain plants, as that of the Mediterranean ash tree, formerly used as a laxative.
  • n. A sweet granular substance excreted on the leaves of plants by certain insects, especially aphids, and often harvested by ants.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Food miraculously produced for the Israelites in the desert in the book of Exodus.
  • n. By extension, any good thing which comes into one's hands by luck or good fortune.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The food supplied to the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness of Arabia; hence, divinely supplied food.
  • n. A name given to lichens of the genus Lecanora, sometimes blown into heaps in the deserts of Arabia and Africa, and gathered and used as food; called also manna lichen.
  • n. A sweetish exudation in the form of pale yellow friable flakes, coming from several trees and shrubs and used in medicine as a gentle laxative, as the secretion of Fraxinus Ornus, and Fraxinus rotundifolia, the manna ashes of Southern Europe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The food by which the children of Israel were sustained in the wilderness (Ex. xvi. 14-36; Num. xi. 6, 7).
  • n. Hence Delicious food for either the body or the mind; delectable material for nourishment or entertainment.
  • n. Divine or spiritual food.
  • n. In pharmacy, a sweet concrete juice obtained by incisions made in the stem of Fraxinus Ornus, a native of Sicily, Calabria, and other parts of the south of Europe, and from other species of ash.
  • n. The secretion of the tamarisk, Tamarix Gallica, var. mannifera. It is a honey-like liquid which exudes from punctures made by an insect, hardens on the stems, and drops to the ground. It is collected by the Arabs as a delicacy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. hardened sugary exudation of various trees
  • n. (Old Testament) food that God gave the Israelites during the Exodus

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Greek, from Aramaic mannā, from Hebrew mān; see mnn in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin manna, from Ancient Greek μάννα (mánna), from Hebrew מן (mān, "'manna"). (Wiktionary)

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