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manna

[man-uh]
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noun
  1. the food miraculously supplied to the Israelites in the wilderness. Ex. 16:14–36.
  2. any sudden or unexpected help, advantage, or aid to success.
  3. divine or spiritual food.
  4. the exudation of the ash Fraxinus ornus and related plants: source of mannitol.

Origin of manna

before 900; Middle English, Old English < Late Latin < Greek mánna < Hebrew mān
Can be confusedmanna manner manor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for manna

manna

noun
  1. Old Testament the miraculous food which sustained the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 16:14–36)
  2. any spiritual or divine nourishment
  3. a windfall; an unexpected gift (esp in the phrase manna from heaven)
  4. a sweet substance obtained from various plants, esp from an ash tree, Fraxinus ornus (manna or flowering ash) of S Europe, used as a mild laxative

Word Origin

Old English via Late Latin from Greek, from Hebrew mān
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 manna

n.

Old English borrowing from Late Latin manna, from Greek manna, from Hebrew man, probably literally "substance exuded by the tamarisk tree," but used in Greek and Latin specifically with reference to the substance miraculously supplied to the Children of Israel during their wandering in the Wilderness (Ex. xvi:15). Meaning "spiritual nourishment" is attested from late 14c. Generalized sense of "something provided unexpectedly" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper