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

  • n. An adult male human.
  • n. A human regardless of sex or age; a person.
  • n. A human or an adult male human belonging to a specific occupation, group, nationality, or other category. Often used in combination: a milkman; a congressman; a freeman.
  • n. The human race; mankind: man's quest for peace.
  • n. Zoology A member of the genus Homo, family Hominidae, order Primates, class Mammalia, characterized by erect posture and an opposable thumb, especially a member of the only extant species, Homo sapiens, distinguished by a highly developed brain, the capacity for abstract reasoning, and the ability to communicate by means of organized speech and record information in a variety of symbolic systems.
  • n. A male human endowed with qualities, such as strength, considered characteristic of manhood.
  • n. Informal A husband.
  • n. Informal A male lover or sweetheart.
  • n. Workers.
  • n. Enlisted personnel of the armed forces: officers and men.
  • n. A male representative, as of a country or company: our man in Tokyo.
  • n. A male servant or subordinate.
  • n. Informal Used as a familiar form of address for a man: See here, my good man!
  • n. One who swore allegiance to a lord in the Middle Ages; a vassal.
  • n. Games Any of the pieces used in a board game, such as chess or checkers.
  • n. Nautical A ship. Often used in combination: a merchantman; a man-of-war.
  • n. Slang A person or group felt to be in a position of power or authority. Used with the: "Their writing mainly concerns the street life—the pimp, the junky, the forces of drug addiction, exploitation at the hands of 'the man'” ( Black World).
  • transitive v. To supply with men, as for defense or service: man a ship.
  • transitive v. To take stations at, as to defend or operate: manned the guns.
  • transitive v. To fortify or brace: manned himself for the battle ahead.
  • interj. Used as an expletive to indicate intense feeling: Man! That was close.
  • idiom as one man In complete agreement; unanimously.
  • idiom as one man With no exception: They objected as one man.
  • idiom one's own man Independent in judgment and action.
  • idiom to a man Without exception: All were lost, to a man.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An adult male human.
  • n. All humans collectively; mankind, humankind. Also Man.
  • n. An abstract person; a person of either gender, usually an adult.
  • n. A mensch; a person of integrity and honor.
  • n. A piece or token used in board games such as chess.
  • n. A person, often male, with duties or skills associated with a specified thing.
  • n. A person, usually male, who is extremely fond of or devoted to a specified type of thing.
  • n. Used to refer to oneself or one's group: I, we; construed in the third person.
  • n. A member of the species Homo sapiens, the genus Homo, or the subtribe Hominina.
  • interj. An interjection used to place emphasis upon something or someone; sometimes, but not always, when actually addressing a man.
  • v. To supply with staff or crew (of either sex).
  • v. To take up position in order to operate something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A human being; -- opposed to beast.
  • n. An adult male person; a grown-up male person, as distinguished from a woman or a child.
  • n. The human race; mankind.
  • n. The male portion of the human race.
  • n. One possessing in a high degree the distinctive qualities of manhood; one having manly excellence of any kind.
  • n. An adult male servant; also, a vassal; a subject.
  • n. A term of familiar address at one time implying on the part of the speaker some degree of authority, impatience, or haste; In the latter half of the 20th century it became used in a broader sense as simply a familiar and informal form of address, but is not used in business or formal situations.
  • n. A married man; a husband; -- correlative to wife.
  • n. One, or any one, indefinitely; -- a modified survival of the Saxon use of man, or mon, as an indefinite pronoun.
  • n. One of the piece with which certain games, as chess or draughts, are played.
  • transitive v. To supply with men; to furnish with a sufficient force or complement of men, as for management, service, defense, or the like; to guard.
  • transitive v. To furnish with strength for action; to prepare for efficiency; to fortify.
  • transitive v. To tame, as a hawk.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a servant or servants.
  • transitive v. To wait on as a manservant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To supply with men; furnish with a sufficient force or complement of men, as for service, defense, or the like.
  • To brace up in a manful way; make manly or courageous: used reflexively.
  • To wait on; attend; escort.
  • To accustom to the presence or company of man; tame, as a hawk or other bird.
  • n. In zoology, a featherless plantigrade biped mammal of the genus.Homo (which see); H. sapiens, a species of the family Hominidæ or Anthropidæ, order Primates, class Mammalia, of which there are several geographical races or varieties. : ; ; ; ;
  • n. A being, whether super- or infra-natural; a person.
  • n. An individual of the human race; a human being; a person: as, all men are mortal.
  • n. Generically, the human race; mankind; human beings collectively: used without article or plural: as, man is born to trouble; the rights of man.
  • n. Specifically
  • n. A male adult of the human race, as distinguished from a woman or a boy; one who has attained manhood, or who is regarded as of manly estate.
  • n. In an emphatic sense, an adult male possessing manly qualities in an eminent degree; one who has the gifts or virtues of true manhood.
  • n. The qualities which characterize true manhood; manliness.
  • n. An adult male considered as in some sense appertaining to or under the control of another person; a vassal, follower, servant, attendant, or employee; one immediately subject to the will of another: as, the officers and men of an army; a gentleman's man (a valet or body-servant); I am no man's man.
  • n. A husband: as, my man is not at home (said by a wife).
  • n. One subject to a mistress; a lover or suitor.
  • n. A word of familiar address, often implying some degree of disparagement or impatience.
  • n. A piece with which a game, as chess or checkers, is played.
  • n. Nautical, in compounds, a ship or other vessel: as, man-of-war; merchantman, Indiaman, etc.
  • n. plural See dead.
  • n. In some parts of England, a coal-cutting machine.
  • n. A man-at-arms.
  • n. Antichrist.
  • n. An imaginary or an irresponsible person put forward as substitute or surety for another, or for any fraudulent purpose.
  • n. See man-of-war.
  • n. In Scripture, man unregenerate or unrenewed; the old man (see below).
  • n. In Scripture, unregenerate humanity; also, the fallen human nature inherited from Adam and operative in the regenerate, though not in the same manner or degree as in the unregenerate.
  • n. The father of a family; the “governor.”
  • n. The captain or commanding officer, as of troops, a vessel, etc.; the proprietor or employer: so called by his men.
  • n. Theat., an actor who is usually cast for the parts of old men.
  • n. In certain outdoor games, the leader; “it.”
  • n. In Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lonsdale, a cairn or pile of stones marking a summit- or prominent point of a mountain. Compare Low Man, High Man, as local names for particular cairns, also applied to portions of the mountains themselves.
  • n. A loafer who hangs about street-corners.
  • n. In building a camp or barn of logs, one who notches the logs so that they will fit closely and make a square corner.
  • n. One who makes a corner in stocks or commodities.
  • n. A fielder who stands beyond point, but farther from the wicket, and more behind it.
  • n. His position in the field.
  • n. An honest, upright man.
  • n. A measure of weight in Persia, varying in value, in different localities, from about 6 to about 25 pounds.
  • n. Abbreviations of Manitoba.

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

  • n. game equipment consisting of an object used in playing certain board games
  • v. provide with workers
  • n. any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae characterized by superior intelligence, articulate speech, and erect carriage
  • n. a male person who plays a significant role (husband or lover or boyfriend) in the life of a particular woman
  • n. an adult person who is male (as opposed to a woman)
  • n. someone who serves in the armed forces; a member of a military force
  • n. the generic use of the word to refer to any human being
  • n. all of the living human inhabitants of the earth
  • n. a male subordinate
  • n. one of the British Isles in the Irish Sea
  • n. a manservant who acts as a personal attendant to his employer
  • n. an adult male person who has a manly character (virile and courageous competent)
  • v. take charge of a certain job; occupy a certain work place


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

Middle English, from Old English mann.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English man, from Old English mann ("human being, person, man"), from Proto-Germanic *mann- (“human being, man”), probably from Proto-Indo-European *man- (“man”) (compare also *men- (“mind”)). Cognate with West Frisian man, Dutch man, German Mann ("man"), Norwegian mann ("man"), Old Swedish maþer ("man"), Swedish man, Russian муж (muž, "male person"), Avestan 𐬨𐬀𐬥𐬱 (manuš), Sanskrit मनु (manu, "human being").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English mannen, from Old English mannian, ġemannian ("to man, supply with men, populate, garrison"), from mann ("human being, man"). Cognate with Dutch mannen ("to man"), German mannen ("to man"), Swedish bemanna ("to man"), Icelandic manna ("to supply with men, man").


  • ˜Every man or (a) donkey runs™, that is to say, whether only the term ˜man™ or the whole subject is distributed.

    John Buridan

  • Kretzmann and Stump, p. For example, ˜man™ immediately signifies the concept man, but by mediation of the concept it signifies the second substance or form of man.

    Medieval Theories: Properties of Terms

  • The owner of the Peony had that to his credit at least—no pilferage: an anxious man, a worried man—


  • I have more sympathy with Dante the man than Goethe the man…

    Eliot's English Usage

  • "But ... after you've been up against a proposition like that, and come through, it certainly makes a man feel like a _man_!"

    Where the Sun Swings North

  • This vision of man, the master of his own destinies, the searcher for truth and the shaper of a better life for the only existence that he knows anything about, this reliance of _man upon man_, and without the supposed interference of any god, constitutes atheism in its broadest and true sense.

    The Necessity of Atheism

  • If we may safely apply Trotter's generalization to the present antagonism among groups (within nations, and also national groups) we might say that the rapid differentiation of the human species has had an effect of creating within the species _man_ a large number of types of sub-specific value, and in this respect man differs greatly from any other species.

    The Psychology of Nations A Contribution to the Philosophy of History

  • In the sentence, "The man is happy; _he_ is benevolent; _he_ is useful;" you perceive, that the word _he_ is used instead of the noun _man; _ consequently _he_ must be a _pronoun_.

    English Grammar in Familiar Lectures

  • You observe, too, that, by making use of the pronoun _he_ in this sentence, we avoid the _repetition_ of the _noun_ man, for without the pronoun, the sentence would be rendered thus, "The man is happy; _the man_ is benevolent; _the man_ is useful."

    English Grammar in Familiar Lectures

  • In the expressions, The man walks -- The boy plays -- Thunders roll --- Warriors fight -- you perceive that the words _walks, plays, roll_, and _fight_, are _active verbs; _ and you cannot be at a loss to know, that the nouns _man, boy, thunders_, and

    English Grammar in Familiar Lectures


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  • Typical of WeirdNet that the number one definition is..."game equipment consisting of an object used in playing certain board games."

    December 22, 2013

  • A miserable pile of secrets.

    February 5, 2012

  • Brilliant website!

    July 1, 2009

  • Whichbe's right, there are some odd ones up there. 'A male subordinate' is just asking for trouble.

    November 27, 2008

  • Well, those are "provide with staff" or "occupy a certain workplace", sure. Man the halyards, etc. I assumed by "take charge" the definition meant "take charge of other people", but I see now that it just means "take charge of a task".

    Personally I'm not offended by that usage, but I can see why others are.

    November 27, 2008

  • "Would you please man the wheel of the ship whilst I do some yoga?"

    "Would you man the switchboard while I go take a dump?"

    November 27, 2008

  • I can't imagine how that one might work actually. Can anyone construe a setence using man in the sense of "take charge"?

    November 27, 2008

  • The "take charge of a certain job" definition is the most red-flaggingly offensive of the various questionable meanings of WordNet's list above, methinks.

    November 27, 2008

  • If it was a new atlas, I assume it would be 'old man'.

    August 28, 2008

  • Man is an off/on switch...a very SPECIAL off/on switch.

    --Jan Cox

    October 17, 2007