Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To free from slavery or bondage; emancipate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To release from slavery, to free.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To release from slavery; to liberate from personal bondage or servitude; to free, as a slave.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To release from slavery; liberate from personal bondage or servitude; set free, as a slave; emancipate.
  • Synonyms Enfranchise, Liberate, etc. See emancipate.

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

  • v. free from slavery or servitude

Etymologies

Middle English manumitten, from Old French manumitter, from Latin manūmittere : manū, ablative of manus, hand; see man-2 in Indo-European roots + mittere, to send from.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin manumittere, from pre-Classical Latin manu emittere, literally ‘send out from one’s hand’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It is evident, that others cannot "manumit" for them.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • The freeing of enslaved persons – manumission – was not regulated by statute in South Carolina until 1712, when the colonial legislature decreed that slaveholders or the colonial governor or provincial council could manumit enslaved persons for good cause.

    History of American Women

  • Under Virginian colonial law, a slaveholder could manumit slaves by a special act of the legislature.

    Just shut the fuck up

  • From 1782 until 1806, any slaveholder in Virginia could manumit slaves for any reason, either in his will or while still living, by any other instrument in writing, under his or her hand and seal.

    Just shut the fuck up

  • After the Revolution, at the behest of petitions from the Quakers and the Methodists, the Virginia state government passed a very liberal manumission law in 1782 I mean liberal towards white slave-holders who wanted to manumit; freed blacks still suffered under a racial police state.

    Just shut the fuck up

  • When this is done, go down with me to the slave market and sell me as thou boughtest me to whoso will buy me with my blemish; but thou shalt not manumit me, for I have no handicraft whereby to gain my living; 99 and this my demand is a matter of law which the doctors have laid down in the Chapter of Emancipation.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Or an insolvent master might manumit his slaves to thwart his creditors.

    A History of American Law

  • Even if a man wishes to manumit one of his slaves, and is given permission to do so, the freed slave is required to leave the colony within a short time-or he may be captured and enslaved by anyone who chooses to take him.

    Drums of Autumn

  • If our whole family economic situation had that base, would we manumit all our slaves?

    The Business of May Next: James Madison & the Founding

  • Our praetor-governor Nerva scurried off to Sicily and began to manumit the Italians, who number about a quarter of the total grain slaves.

    The First Man in Rome

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Comments

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  • "The prime reason, I suspect, will be that we don't need any liberator to manumit our 'corporate slaves' because we've never had any."
    - Victor Navasky, 'Time is money', The Nation, 17 July 1989.

    March 5, 2009