Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun In the Bible, the food miraculously provided for the Israelites in the wilderness during their flight from Egypt.
  • noun Spiritual nourishment of divine origin.
  • noun Something of value that a person receives unexpectedly.
  • noun A dried exudate of certain plants, especially the Eurasian ash tree Fraxinus ornus, formerly used as a laxative.
  • noun A sweet granular substance excreted on the leaves of plants by certain insects, especially scale insects and aphids, sometimes harvested for food.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The food by which the children of Israel were sustained in the wilderness (Ex. xvi. 14-36; Num. xi. 6, 7).
  • noun Hence Delicious food for either the body or the mind; delectable material for nourishment or entertainment.
  • noun Divine or spiritual food.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Script.) The food supplied to the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness of Arabia; hence, divinely supplied food.
  • noun (Bot.) 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.
  • noun (Bot. & Med.) 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.
  • noun (Zoöl) a scale insect (Gossyparia mannipara), which causes the exudation of manna from the Tamarix tree in Arabia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin, from Greek, from Aramaic mannā, from Hebrew mān; see mnn in Semitic roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin manna, from Ancient Greek μάννα (mánna), from Hebrew מן (mān, "'manna").

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