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[man-er] /ˈmæn ər/
a way of doing, being done, or happening; mode of action, occurrence, etc.:
I don't like the manner in which he complained.
  1. the prevailing customs, ways of living, and habits of a people, class, period, etc.; mores:
    The novels of Jane Austen are concerned with the manners of her time.
  2. ways of behaving with reference to polite standards; social comportment:
    That child has good manners.
a person's outward bearing; way of speaking to and treating others:
She has a charming manner.
characteristic or customary way of doing, making, saying, etc.:
houses built in the 19th-century manner.
air of distinction:
That old gentleman had quite a manner.
(used with a singular or plural verb) kind; sort:
What manner of man is he? All manner of things were happening.
characteristic style in art, literature, or the like:
verses in the manner of Spenser.
  1. nature; character.
  2. guise; fashion.
by all manner of means, by all means; certainly.
by no manner of means, under no circumstances; by no means; certainly not:
She was by no manner of means a frivolous person.
in a manner, so to speak; after a fashion; somewhat.
in a manner of speaking, in a way; as it were; so to speak:
We were, in a manner of speaking, babes in the woods.
to the manner born,
  1. accustomed by birth to a high position:
    He was a gentleman to the manner born.
  2. used to a particular custom, activity, or role from birth.
Origin of manner1
1125-75; Middle English manere < Anglo-French; Old French maniereVulgar Latin *manuāria, noun use of feminine of manuārius handy, convenient (Latin: of, pertaining to the hand). See manus, -er2
Can be confused
manna, manner, manor.
1. method. 3. demeanor, deportment. Manner, air, bearing all refer to one's outward aspect or behavior. Manner applies to a distinctive mode of behavior, or social attitude toward others, etc.: a gracious manner. Air applies to outward appearance insofar as this is distinctive or indicative: an air of martyrdom. Airs imply affectation: to put on airs. Bearing applies especially to carriage: a noble bearing. 4. mode, fashion, style; habit, custom.


[man-er] /ˈmæn ər/
noun, Old English Law.
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for manner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "He said he was poor," urged Billy, who had been rather taken with the ease of Arledge's manner.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • He had suffered himself to regain something of his old cheerfulness of manner.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • "Certainly, Robert," was the reply, but the lawyer's manner showed some surprise.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Your manner reduced me to a groom who opened your carriage door.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • The mother's manner was a crushing rebuke to the young man for his audacity.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for manner


a way of doing or being
a person's bearing and behaviour: she had a cool manner
the style or customary way of doing or accomplishing something: sculpture in the Greek manner
type or kind: what manner of man is this?
mannered style, as in art; mannerism
by all manner of means, certainly; of course
by no manner of means, definitely not: he was by no manner of means a cruel man
in a manner of speaking, in a way; so to speak
to the manner born, naturally fitted to a specified role or activity
See also manners
Word Origin
C12: via Norman French from Old French maniere, from Vulgar Latin manuāria (unattested) a way of handling something, noun use of Latin manuārius belonging to the hand, from manus hand
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 manner

c.1200, "kind, sort, variety," from Anglo-French manere, Old French maniere "fashion, method, manner, way; appearance, bearing; custom" (12c., Modern French manière), from Vulgar Latin *manaria (source of Spanish manera, Portuguese maneira, Italian maniera), from fem. of Latin manuarius "belonging to the hand," from manus "hand" (see manual (adj.)). The French word was borrowed by other Germanic languages, e.g. Dutch manier, German manier, Swedish maner.

Meaning "customary practice" is from c.1300. Senses of "way of doing something; a personal habit or way of doing; way of conducting oneself toward others" are from c.1300. Meaning "specific nature, form, way something happens" is mid-14c. Of literature from 1660s. Most figurative meanings derive from the original sense "method of handling" which was extended when the word was used to translate Latin modus "method." Phrase manner of speaking is recorded from 1530s. To the manner born ("Hamlet" I iv.15) generally is used incorrectly and means "destined by birth to be subject to the custom."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with manner
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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