noun, plural men.
- a person or group asserting authority or power over another, especially in a manner experienced as being oppressive, demeaning, or threatening, as an employer, the police, or a dominating racial group.
- a person or group upon whom one is dependent, as the drug supplier for an addict.
verb (used with object), manned, man·ning.
- to be free from restrictions, control, or dictatorial influence; be independent: Now that he has a business he is his own man.
- to be in complete command of one's faculties: After a refreshing nap he was again his own man.
Origin of man1
Synonyms for man
Although some editors and writers reject or disregard these objections to man as a generic, many now choose instead to use such terms as human being ( s ), human race, humankind, people, or, when called for by style or context, women and men or men and women. See also -man, -person, -woman.
auxiliary verb Scot.
All terms historically ending in -man that designate specific occupations ( foreman; mailman; policeman; repairman; etc.) were dropped in favor of sex-neutral terms in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), published by the U.S. Dept. of Labor in 1977. DOT terms for the occupations listed above are supervisor, mail or letter carrier, police officer (or just officer ), repairer (as in radio repairer ). Many industries and business firms have adopted similar sex-neutral occupational titles.
One -man compound, freshman, is still the term generally used in high schools and colleges and in Congress, and it is applied to both sexes. As a modifier, the singular form freshman is used with both singular and plural nouns: a freshman athlete; freshman legislators. See also chairperson, man, -person, -woman.
Related Words for manfather, brother, son, guy, fellow, husband, he, sir, beau, gentleman, grandfather, papa, swain, spouse, boyfriend, Mr., uncle, nephew
Examples from the Web for man
Contemporary Examples of man
In the first episode, an officer is shown video of himself shooting and killing a man.'Babylon' Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops
January 9, 2015
That man was Xavier Cortada, a gay man who wrote of his frustration that he and his partner of eight years were unable to marry.Jeb Bush’s Unseen Anti-Gay Marriage Emails
January 9, 2015
It is the summit of human happiness: the surrender of man to God, of woman to man, of several women to the same man.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President
January 9, 2015
He looks like a man who should have had kids, but now never will.The Muslim Cop Killed by Terrorists
January 9, 2015
The governor of Punjab province, a Muslim man, called publicly for leniency for her.In Defense of Blasphemy
January 9, 2015
Historical Examples of man
If that man was a woman he'd be a warm neighbourhood gossip.
I know it all by heart—all the things to say to a man on the downward path.
No man ventured to interfere with this lawful exercise of his authority.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
I see some man in the East has a fad for breaking the ice in the river and going swimming.
"I told him high altitudes and high livin' would do any man—" Again he was silent.
noun plural men (mɛn)
- a member of any of the living races of Homo sapiens, characterized by erect bipedal posture, a highly developed brain, and powers of articulate speech, abstract reasoning, and imagination
- any extinct member of the species Homo sapiens, such as Cro-Magnon man
- a subordinate, servant, or employee contrasted with an employer or manager
- (in combination)the number of man-days required to complete a job
- without exceptionthey were slaughtered to a man
verb mans, manning or manned (tr)
Word Origin for man
noun the Man (sometimes not capital) US
n combining form
Old English man, mann "human being, person (male or female); brave man, hero; servant, vassal," from Proto-Germanic *manwaz (cf. Old Saxon, Swedish, Dutch, Old High German man, German Mann, Old Norse maðr, Danish mand, Gothic manna "man"), from PIE root *man- (1) "man" (cf. Sanskrit manuh, Avestan manu-, Old Church Slavonic mozi, Russian muzh "man, male").
Plural men (German Männer) shows effects of i-mutation. Sometimes connected to root *men- "to think" (see mind), which would make the ground sense of man "one who has intelligence," but not all linguists accept this. Liberman, for instance, writes, "Most probably man 'human being' is a secularized divine name" from Mannus [cf. Tacitus, "Germania," chap. 2], "believed to be the progenitor of the human race."
So I am as he that seythe, `Come hyddr John, my man.' 
Sense of "adult male" is late (c.1000); Old English used wer and wif to distinguish the sexes, but wer began to disappear late 13c. and was replaced by man. Universal sense of the word remains in mankind and manslaughter. Similarly, Latin had homo "human being" and vir "adult male human being," but they merged in Vulgar Latin, with homo extended to both senses. A like evolution took place in Slavic languages, and in some of them the word has narrowed to mean "husband." PIE had two stems: *uiHro "freeman" (cf. Sanskrit vira-, Lithuanian vyras, Latin vir, Old Irish fer, Gothic wair) and *hner "man," a title more of honor than *uiHro (cf. Sanskrit nar-, Armenian ayr, Welsh ner, Greek aner).
MAN TRAP. A woman's commodity. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]
Man also was in Old English as an indefinite pronoun, "one, people, they." The chess pieces so called from c.1400. As an interjection of surprise or emphasis, first recorded c.1400, but especially popular from early 20c. Man-about-town is from 1734; the Man "the boss" is from 1918. To be man or mouse "be brave or be timid" is from 1540s. Men's Liberation first attested 1970.
At the kinges court, my brother, Ech man for himself. [Chaucer, "Knight's Tale," c.1386]
Old English mannian "to furnish (a fort, ship, etc.) with a company of men," from man (n.). Meaning "to take up a designated position on a ship" is first recorded 1690s. Meaning "behave like a man, act with courage" is from c.1400. To man (something) out is from 1660s. Related: Manned; manning.
In addition to the idioms beginning with man
- man about town
- man in the street
- man of few words
- man of his word
- man of the moment
- man of the world
- many a
- many hands make light work
- many happy returns
- many is the
- as one (man)
- company man
- dead soldier (man)
- dirty joke (old man)
- every man for himself
- every man has his price
- girl (man) Friday
- hatchet man
- hired hand (man)
- ladies' man
- low man on the totem pole
- marked man
- new person (man)
- no man is an island
- odd man out
- (man) of few words
- one man's meat is another man's poison
- own man
- right-hand man
- see a man about a dog
- to a man
Also see undermen.