readily perceived by the eye or the understanding; evident; obvious; apparent; plain: a manifest error.
Psychoanalysis. of or relating to conscious feelings, ideas, and impulses that contain repressed psychic material: the manifest content of a dream as opposed to the latent content that it conceals.

verb (used with object)


Origin of manifest

1350–1400; (adj.) Middle English < Latin manifestus, manufestus detected in the act, evident, visible; (v.) Middle English manifesten < Middle French manifester < Latin manifestāre, derivative of manifestus. See manus, infest
Related formsman·i·fest·a·ble, adjectiveman·i·fest·er, nounman·i·fest·ly, adverbman·i·fest·ness, nounnon·man·i·fest, adjectivenon·man·i·fest·ly, adverbnon·man·i·fest·ness, nounpre·man·i·fest, verbre·man·i·fest, verb (used with object)self-man·i·fest, adjectivesu·per·man·i·fest, verb (used with object)un·man·i·fest, adjectiveun·man·i·fest·ed, adjective

Synonyms for manifest

Synonym study

3. See display.

Antonyms for manifest Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for manifest

Contemporary Examples of manifest

Historical Examples of manifest

  • He was besides too proud to manifest his interest in the special contents of this letter.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Simplicity and self-forgetfulness were manifest in carriage and utterance.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Though he strove to put confidence into his words, his painful doubt was manifest.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Only once did the white man speak or manifest the slightest interest.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • And it is manifest that for this country of Guayana the proper person has not been appointed.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

British Dictionary definitions for manifest



easily noticed or perceived; obvious; plain
psychoanal of or relating to the ostensible elements of a dreammanifest content Compare latent (def. 5)


(tr) to show plainly; reveal or displayto manifest great emotion
(tr) to prove beyond doubt
(intr) (of a disembodied spirit) to appear in visible form
(tr) to list in a ship's manifest


a customs document containing particulars of a ship, its cargo, and its destination
  1. a list of cargo, passengers, etc, on an aeroplane
  2. a list of railway trucks or their cargo
  3. mainly US and Canadiana fast freight train carrying perishables
Derived Formsmanifestable, adjectivemanifestly, adverbmanifestness, noun

Word Origin for manifest

C14: from Latin manifestus plain, literally: struck with the hand, from manū with the hand + -festus struck
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 manifest

late 14c., "clearly revealed," from Old French manifest "evident, palpable," (12c.), or directly from Latin manifestus "plainly apprehensible, clear, apparent, evident;" of offenses, "proved by direct evidence;" of offenders, "caught in the act," probably from manus "hand" (see manual) + -festus "struck" (cf. second element of infest).

Other nations have tried to check ... the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the Continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions. [John O'Sullivan (1813-1895), "U.S. Magazine & Democratic Review," July 1845]

The phrase apparently is O'Sullivan's coinage; the notion is as old as the republic.


late 14c., "to spread" (one's fame), "to show plainly," from manifest (adj.) or else from Latin manifestare "to discover, disclose, betray" (see manifest (adj.)). Meaning "to display by actions" is from 1560s; reflective sense, of diseases, etc., "to reveal as in operation" is from 1808. Related: Manifested; manifesting.


"ship's cargo," 1706; see manifest (adj.). Earlier, "a public declaration" (c.1600; cf. manifesto), from French manifeste, verbal noun from manifester. Earlier still in English as "a manifestation" (1560s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper