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n combining form
indicating a person who has a role, works in a place, or operates equipment as specified: salesman; barman; cameraman.
Usage: The use of words ending in -man is avoided as implying a male in job advertisements, where sexual discrimination is illegal, and in many other contexts where a term that is not gender-specific is available, such as salesperson, barperson, camera operator
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
n., pl. men, n.
1. an adult male person, as distinguished from a boy or a woman.
2. a member of the species Homo sapiens or all the members of this species collectively, without regard to sex.
3. the human individual as representing the species, without reference to sex; the human race; humankind: Man hopes for peace.
4. a human being; person: every man for himself.
5. a husband.
6. a male lover or sweetheart.
7. a male having qualities considered appropriately masculine: made a man of him.
8. a male servant or attendant.
9. a feudal tenant; vassal.
10. Slang. a male friend; ally: my main man.
11. Slang. (used as a term of familiar address): Man, take it easy.
12. a playing piece used in certain games, as chess or checkers.
13. Obs. manly character.
14. the man or Man, Slang.interj.
a. an authoritative or controlling person or group.
b. (among blacks) white persons collectively; white society.
c. a person who is greatly admired: He's the man.
15. (used to express astonishment or delight): Man, what a car!v.t.
16. to supply with people, as for service: to man the ship.
17. to take one's place at: to man the ramparts; to man the phones.
18. to strengthen; fortify: to man yourself for danger.Idioms:
1. one's own man, free from restrictions or influences; independent.
2. man and boy, ever since childhood: He's been working, man and boy, for 50 years.
3. to a man, including everyone.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English man(n), c. Old Frisian, Old Saxon mann, Old High German man(n), Old Norse mathr, Gothic manna]
usage: The use of generic man (“human being”), alone and in compounds such as mankind, is declining. Critics of generic man maintain that its use is sometimes ambiguous and often slighting of women. Although some editors and writers dismiss these objections, many now choose instead such terms as human(s), human being(s), human race, humankind, people, or, when necessary, men and women or women and men. See also -man, -person, -woman.
Isle of, an island of the British Isles, in the Irish Sea. 73,837; 227 sq. mi. (588 sq. km). Cap.: Douglas.
a combining form of man: layman; postman.
usage: The use of -man as the last element in compounds referring to a person of either sex who performs some function (anchorman; chairman; spokesman) has declined in recent years. In some instances the sex-neutral -person is substituted for -man (anchorperson; spokesperson), and sometimes a form with no suffix at all is used (anchor; chair). Terms ending in -man that designate specific occupations (foreman; mailman; policeman, etc.) have been dropped by the U.S. government in favor of neutral terms, and many industries and business firms have done likewise. The compounds freshman, underclassman, and upperclassman are still generally used in schools, freshman in Congress also, and they are applied to both sexes. The term first-year student is increasingly common as an alternative to freshman. As a modifier, freshman is used with both singular and plural nouns: a freshman athlete; freshman legislators. See also man, -person, -woman.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.