- having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength or bravery.
- pertaining to or suitable for males: manly sports.
- Archaic. in a manly manner.
Origin of manly
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Manly, manful, mannish mean having the traits or qualities that a culture regards as especially characteristic of or ideally appropriate to adult men. Manly is usually a term of approval, suggesting traits admired by society, such as determination, decisiveness, and steadiness: a manly acceptance of the facts; manly firmness of character. Manful, also a term of approval, stresses qualities such as courage, strength, and fortitude: a manful effort to overcome great odds. Mannish is most often used derogatorily in reference to the traits, manners, or accouterments of a woman that are thought to be more appropriate to or typical of a man: a mannish abruptness in her speech; She wore a severely mannish suit. See also male.
1. weak, cowardly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for manliness
Later, after taking his own shirt off in a supposed show of manliness, Dre freaked out when Andre Jr. copied him.Why ‘Black-ish’ Has a Gay Problem
October 3, 2014
Another tradition of manliness would point them toward discipline, sacrifice, and self-denial.Alleged Santa Barbara Killer Elliot Rodger and the Twisted Cult of Modern Masculinity
May 26, 2014
The reason, Foster argues, is that impotence implies a lack of virility, a lack of manliness.What the Sex Lives of the Founding Fathers Reveal About Us
February 21, 2014
Perched atop a mountain of wavy, pulled-back hair is a mangled ball of manliness, a holdover from the days of the samurai.Joakim Noah Has the Manliest Bun Ever
May 15, 2013
I doubt you could have prevented the killing of their female partners by redefining their sense of manliness.Pundits Pin Blame for Murderer Jovan Belcher on Everything But Him
December 5, 2012
It is astounding how ill-endowed Shakespeare was on the side of manliness.The Man Shakespeare
What perceptible sign of mature age or manliness is there about him?
And yet I could not help wondering at his natural temperance and self-restraint and manliness.Symposium
He don't like me, that's all, and he has n't the manliness to say it.Davenport Dunn, Volume 1 (of 2)
Charles James Lever
"That more than repays me for all I did," said Paul, in a tone of mingled modesty and manliness.Paul Prescott's Charge
- possessing qualities, such as vigour or courage, generally regarded as appropriate to or typical of a man; masculine
- characteristic of or befitting a mana manly sport
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
Word Origin and History for manliness
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper