[ man-uh v-wawr ]
/ ˈmæn əvˈwɔr /

noun, plural men-of-war.

Origin of man-of-war

1400–50 in sense “soldier”; late Middle English Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for man-of-war

British Dictionary definitions for man-of-war


man o' war

noun plural men-of-war or men o' war

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 man-of-war



late 14c., "a soldier," from man (n.) + war. Meaning "vessel equipped for warfare" is from late 15c. Man in the sense of "a ship" is attested from late 15c. in combinations (e.g. merchantman). The sea creature known as the Portuguese man-of-war (1707) is so called for its sail-like crest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper