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n. pl. men (mĕn)
1. An adult male human.
2. A human regardless of sex or age; a person.
3. 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.
4. The human race; mankind: man's quest for peace.
5. A male human endowed with qualities, such as strength, considered characteristic of manhood.
6. Informal
a. A husband.
b. A male lover or sweetheart.
7. men
a. Workers.
b. Enlisted personnel of the armed forces: officers and men.
8. A male representative, as of a country or company: our man in Tokyo.
9. A male servant or subordinate.
10. Informal Used as a familiar form of address for a man: See here, my good man!
11. One who swore allegiance to a lord in the Middle Ages; a vassal.
12. Games Any of the pieces used in a board game, such as chess or checkers.
13. Nautical A ship. Often used in combination: a merchantman; a man-of-war.
14. often Man 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).
tr.v. manned, man·ning, mans
1. To supply with men, as for defense or service: man a ship.
2. To take stations at, as to defend or operate: manned the guns.
3. To fortify or brace: manned himself for the battle ahead.
Used as an expletive to indicate intense feeling: Man! That was close.
Phrasal Verb:
man up
Slang To take an action displaying stereotypically masculine virtues such as decisiveness or courage.
as one man
1. In complete agreement; unanimously.
2. With no exception: They objected as one man.
(one's) own man
Independent in judgment and action.
to a man
Without exception: All were lost, to a man.

[Middle English, from Old English mann; see man- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: Traditionally, many writers have used man and words derived from it to designate any or all of the human race regardless of sex. In fact, this is the oldest use of the word. In Old English the principal sense of man was "a human," and the words wer and wyf (or wæpman and wifman) were used to refer to "a male human" and "a female human" respectively. But in Middle English man displaced wer as the term for "a male human," while wyfman (which evolved into present-day woman) was retained for "a female human." Man also continued to carry its original sense of "a human," resulting in an asymmetric arrangement that many criticize as sexist. Despite the objections to the generic use of man, a solid majority of the Usage Panel still approves of it. For example, the sentence If early man suffered from a lack of information, modern man is tyrannized by an excess of it was acceptable to 79 percent of the Panel in our 2004 survey, and the sentence The site shows that man learned to use tools much earlier than scientists believed possible was acceptable to 75 percent. However, only 48 percent approved of the generic plural form of man, as in Men learned to use tools more than ten thousand years ago, probably because the plural, unlike the singular man, suggests that one is referring to actual men of ten thousand years ago, taking them as representative of the species. · A substantial majority of the Panel also accepts compound words derived from generic man, and resistance to these compounds does not appear to be increasing. In the 2004 survey, 87 percent accepted the sentence The Great Wall is the only manmade structure visible from space—essentially the same percentage that accepted this sentence in 1988 (86 percent). In the 2004 survey, 86 percent also accepted The first manmade fiber to be commercially manufactured in the US was rayon, in 1910, suggesting that context makes no difference on this issue. · As a verb, man was originally used in military and nautical contexts, when the group performing the action consisted entirely of men. In the days when only men manned the decks, there was no need for a different word to include women. Today, the verb form of man can be considered sexist when the subject includes or is limited to women, as in the sentence Members of the League of Women Voters will be manning the registration desk. But in our 2004 survey only 26 percent of the Usage Panel considered this sentence to be unacceptable. This is noticeably fewer Panelists than the 56 percent who rejected this same sentence in 1988. This suggests that for many people the issue of the generic use of man is not as salient as it once was. See Usage Notes at chairman, -ess, men.


 (măn′ĭng), Peyton Williams Born 1976.
American football player. As a quarterback with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, he has set several National Football League records, including those for career touchdown passes and for most passing yards in a season.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Biography) Henry Edward. 1808–92, British churchman. Originally an Anglican, he was converted to Roman Catholicism (1851) and made archbishop of Westminster (1865) and cardinal (1875)
2. (Biography) Olivia. 1908–80, British novelist and short-story writer, best known for her novel sequence Fortunes of War, comprising the Balkan Trilogy (1960–65) and the Levant Trilogy (1977–80)
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
The Honourable (and this is one of those rare occasions when the encomium is deserved) Preston Manning exited from Canadian politics as he first entered: with passion, vision, and grace.
In the late 1980s such media as deigned to notice Manning and his ragtag band of followers generally pronounced them "kooks"; people who met in church basements or municipal arenas to hear from a shy, bespectacled man with a high, squeaky voice about how Canadian politics might be done differently.
MANNING: A Father, his Sons, And a Football Legacy By Archie Manning, Peyton Manning, and John Underwood HarperCollins, $24.00
But in many ways Archie Manning and Ruth Carter Whittle grew up worlds apart--and to this day they're separated by race-shadowed, irreconcilable memories.
I owe a friend for pointing out the upside down nature of the question that forms the title of Manning's book.