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verb (used with object), man·aged, man·ag·ing.
  1. to bring about or succeed in accomplishing, sometimes despite difficulty or hardship: She managed to see the governor. How does she manage it on such a small income?
  2. to take charge or care of: to manage my investments.
  3. to dominate or influence (a person) by tact, flattery, or artifice: He manages the child with exemplary skill.
  4. to handle, direct, govern, or control in action or use: She managed the boat efficiently.
  5. to wield (a weapon, tool, etc.).
  6. to handle or train (a horse) in the exercises of the manège.
  7. Archaic. to use sparingly or with judgment, as health or money; husband.
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verb (used without object), man·aged, man·ag·ing.
  1. to conduct business, commercial affairs, etc.; be in charge: Who will manage while the boss is away?
  2. to continue to function, progress, or succeed, usually despite hardship or difficulty; get along: How will he manage with his wife gone? It was a rough time, but we managed.
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Origin of manage

1555–65; earlier manege < Italian maneggiare to handle, train (horses), derivative of mano < Latin manus hand
Related formso·ver·man·age, verb (used with object), o·ver·man·aged, o·ver·man·ag·ing.qua·si-man·aged, adjectiveself-man·ag·ing, adjectiveun·der·man·age, verb (used with object), un·der·man·aged, un·der·man·ag·ing.un·der·man·aged, adjectiveun·man·aged, adjectivewell-man·aged, adjective


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Synonym study

4. See rule.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for managing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Oh, well, I think there are better ways of managing a man than just hammering at him.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • He looks discontented, and fierce, as if there was no such thing as soothing and managing him.


    William Godwin

  • She was proud of her father, and proud of his boats, and proud of his skill in managing them.

    A Singer from the Sea

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • In fact, I know of two who are managing with a good deal less.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • And the tending of living animals may be either a tending of individuals, or a managing of herds.

British Dictionary definitions for managing


  1. having administrative control or authoritya managing director
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verb (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to be in charge (of); administerto manage one's affairs; to manage a shop
  2. to succeed in being able (to do something) despite obstacles; contrivedid you manage to go to sleep?
  3. to have room, time, etc, forcan you manage dinner tomorrow?
  4. to exercise control or domination over, often in a tactful or guileful manner
  5. (intr) to contrive to carry on despite difficulties, esp financial oneshe managed quite well on very little money
  6. to wield or handle (a weapon)
  7. rare to be frugal in the use of
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  1. an archaic word for manège
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Word Origin

C16: from Italian maneggiare to control, train (esp horses), ultimately from Latin 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

Word Origin and History for managing



1560s, probably from Italian maneggiare "to handle," especially "to control a horse," ultimately from Latin noun manus "hand" (see manual (adj.)). Influenced by French manège "horsemanship" (earliest English sense was of handling horses), which also was from Italian. Extended to other objects or business from 1570s. Slang sense of "get by" first recorded 1650s. Related: Managed; managing. Managed economy was used by 1933.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper