• synonyms


[man-kahynd for 1; man-kahynd for 2]
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  1. the human race; human beings collectively without reference to sex; humankind.
  2. men, as distinguished from women.
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Origin of mankind

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at man1, kind2
Related formspre·man·kind, noun
Can be confusedhumankind mankind womankind

Usage note

See -man.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mankind


  1. human beings collectively; humanity
  2. men collectively, as opposed to womankind
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Nowadays many people object to the use of mankind to refer to all human beings and use the term humankind instead
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 mankind


"the human race," c.1300, earlier man-kende (early 13c.), from man (n.) + kind (n.). Replaced Old English mancynn "human race." Also used occasionally in Middle English for "male persons" (late 14c.), but otherwise preserving the original gender neutrality of man (n.). For "menfolk, the male sex," menkind (late 14c.) and menskind (1590s) have been used.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper