[ man-lee ]
See synonyms for: manlymanliness on

adjective,man·li·er, man·li·est.
  1. having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength or bravery.

  2. pertaining to or suitable for males: manly sports.

  1. Archaic. in a manly manner.

Origin of manly

before 900; Middle English (adj., adv.); Old English manlīc (adj.), manlīce (adv.). See man, -ly

synonym study For manly

Manly, manful, mannish mean having the traits or qualities that a culture regards as especially characteristic of or ideally appropriate to adult men. Manly is usually a term of approval, suggesting traits admired by society, such as determination, decisiveness, and steadiness: a manly acceptance of the facts; manly firmness of character. Manful, also a term of approval, stresses qualities such as courage, strength, and fortitude: a manful effort to overcome great odds. Mannish is most often used derogatorily in reference to the traits, manners, or accouterments of a woman that are thought to be more appropriate to or typical of a man: a mannish abruptness in her speech; She wore a severely mannish suit. See also male.

Opposites for manly

Other words from manly

  • man·li·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use manly in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for manly


/ (ˈmænlɪ) /

adjective-lier or -liest
  1. possessing qualities, such as vigour or courage, generally regarded as appropriate to or typical of a man; masculine

  2. characteristic of or befitting a man: a manly sport

Derived forms of manly

  • manliness, noun

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