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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
  • The learning to take it manfully is what as individuals we get out of it.

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

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • So long as hope remained to us we struggled on manfully enough.

    Gerald Fitzgerald Charles James Lever
  • Ay, I could do it manfully, too, if I were not carrying along with me memories of long ago.

    Tony Butler Charles James Lever
  • Phil manfully works for a year cancelling his father's debt, and then escapes.

    Breaking Away Oliver Optic
  • In the presence of the charming woman he had manfully suppressed his feelings.

  • Disagreeable as the necessity was, it could not be avoided, and Mr. Gallatin met it manfully.

    Albert Gallatin John Austin Stevens
  • This brought him face to face with his opportunity, and he seized it manfully.

    The Tyranny of the Dark Hamlin Garland
  • Phil manfully works for a year, cancelling his father's debt, and then escapes.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • They had now a barricade that could not be easily broken, if but manfully defended.

    The Giraffe Hunters Mayne Reid
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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