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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
See manly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for manfully
Historical Examples
  • He manfully let her tell of all her silly little presents before talking of his own.

    The Seeker Harry Leon Wilson
  • Phil manfully works for a year, cancelling his father's debt, and then escapes.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • "Let me look on my loss of fortune as a gain to myself," said Graham, manfully.

    The Parisians, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Once he has pledged his word to defend the American flag, he stands by it manfully.

    The Indian Today Charles A. Eastman
  • My father knew full well that the end was at hand, yet he faced it manfully, like the stanch old seaman he was.

    The Quest of the 'Golden Hope' Percy F. Westerman
  • Then fear that it is all a contriving of the devils makes him put it manfully from his mind.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • At once speculative and practical, entering largely into the philosophy of teaching, and manfully handling facts.

  • The other was John Grueby, who had stood by him so manfully at Westminster.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • We bucketed down that hillside like men possessed, even Blenkiron sticking on manfully among the twists and turns and slithers.

    Greenmantle John Buchan
  • So long as hope remained to us we struggled on manfully enough.

    Gerald Fitzgerald Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for manfully


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 manfully

c.1400, from manful + -ly (2). Old English had manlice "manfully, nobly."



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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