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[man-suh-puh l]
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  1. an officer or steward of a monastery, college, etc., authorized to purchase provisions.
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Origin of manciple

1150–1200 in sense “slave”; Middle English < Middle French manciple, variant of mancipe < Medieval Latin mancipium, Latin: a possession, slave, orig., ownership, equivalent to mancip-, stem of manceps contractor, agent (man(us) hand + -cep-, combining form of capere to take (see concept) + -s nominative singular ending) + -ium -ium
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for manciple

Historical Examples

  • The Manciple is chaffing the ‘coke’ for having had too much to drink.

    Nineteen Centuries of Drink in England

    Richard Valpy French

  • Manciple, you are responsible for the preservation of that Star-fish.

  • Manciple, man′si-pl, n. a steward: a purveyor, particularly of a college or an inn of court.

  • He did as soon as Alice said that about whining and grizzling being below the dignity of a Manciple.

  • Extra food obtained from the manciple to be eaten in private was called Battels.

British Dictionary definitions for manciple


  1. a steward who buys provisions, esp in a college, Inn of Court, or monastery
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Word Origin

C13: via Old French from Latin mancipium purchase, from manceps purchaser, from manus hand + capere to take
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 manciple


"officer or servant who purchases provisions for a college, monastery, etc.," early 13c., from Old French mancipe "servant, official, manciple," from Latin mancipium "servant, slave, slave obtained by legal transfer; the legal purchase of a thing," literally "a taking in hand," from manus "hand" (see manual (adj.)) + root of capere "to take" (see capable).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper