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  1. a city in E Lombardy, in N Italy: birthplace of Vergil.
Italian Man·to·va [mahn-taw-vah] /ˈmɑn tɔ vɑ/.
Related formsMan·tu·an, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mantuan

Historical Examples

  • To the Reader, prefixed to translation of Eclogues of Mantuan, 1567.

    Early Theories of Translation

    Flora Ross Amos

  • According to him, Sordello was a Mantuan of noble family, born at Goito at the close of the twelfth century.

  • Gerber announces the same of the Mantuan, Shevioni, who worked about the same time apparently in Verona.

    The Violoncello and Its History

    Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski

  • The celebrated composer of frottole, Bartolomeo Tromboncino, was for some time in the service of the Mantuan court.

    Some Forerunners of Italian Opera

    William James Henderson

  • The Orpheus of Poliziano was doubtless a striking figure in the minds of the Mantuan audience of 1484.

    Some Forerunners of Italian Opera

    William James Henderson

British Dictionary definitions for mantuan


  1. a loose gown of the 17th and 18th centuries, worn open in front to show the underskirt

Word Origin

C17: changed from manteau, through the influence of Mantua


  1. a city in N Italy, in E Lombardy, surrounded by lakes: birthplace of Virgil. Pop: 47 790 (2001)Italian name: Mantova
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 mantuan



loose gown worn by women 17c.-18c., 1670s, from French manteau "cloak, mantle," from Old French mantel (see mantle); form influenced in English by Mantua, name of a city in Italy. Mantua-maker (1690s) became the general early 19c. term for "dressmaker."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper