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[man-fuh l] /ˈmæn fəl/
having or showing boldness, courage, or strength; resolute.
Origin of manful
Middle English word dating back to 1250-1300; See origin at man1, -ful
Related forms
manfully, adverb
manfulness, noun
unmanful, adjective
unmanfully, adverb
unmanfulness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for manful
Historical Examples
  • The Captain bore the shock of the refusal with, to say the least, manful resignation.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "The boy is fine and honorable and manful, Wayne," said the old lawyer.

    Little Miss Grouch Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • "Your wife is a woman of manful virtue," said the interpreter to Albinik.

    The Brass Bell Eugne Sue
  • In what connection can manly be used where manful could not be substituted?

    English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald
  • Your speeches at Aberdeen are most admirable, manful, and earnest.

  • They met, as was the phrase of the time, "manful under shield."

    Anne of Geierstein Walter Scott
  • For these manful Slavs, no work is too toilsome and dangerous.

    The Old World in the New Edward Alsworth Ross
  • I laid all that before him; and he showed a manful spirit, that I will always say.

    The Wizard's Son, Vol. 1(of 3) Margaret Oliphant
  • He might have used nicer language, perhaps, but his inner sense was manful.

    Erema R. D. Blackmore
  • However, the boy went about his task in quite a manful manner.

    Ruth Fielding Down in Dixie Alice B. Emerson
British Dictionary definitions for manful


a less common word for manly
Derived Forms
manfully, adverb
manfulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for manful

late 14c., "courageous, brave, resolute," from man (n.) + -ful.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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