- an adult male person, as distinguished from a boy or a woman.
- a member of the species Homo sapiens or all the members of this species collectively, without regard to sex: prehistoric man.
- the human individual as representing the species, without reference to sex; the human race; humankind: Man hopes for peace, but prepares for war.
- a human being; person: to give a man a chance; When the audience smelled the smoke, it was every man for himself.
- a husband.
- a male lover or sweetheart.
- a male follower or subordinate: the king's men. He's the boss's number one man.
- a male employee or representative, especially of a company or agency: a Secret Service man; a man from the phone company.
- a male having qualities considered typical of men or appropriately masculine: Be a man. The army will make a man of you.
- a male servant.
- a valet.
- enlisted man.
- an enthusiast or devotee: I like jazz, but I'm essentially a classics man.
- Slang. male friend; ally: You're my main man.
- a term of familiar address to a man; fellow: Now, now, my good man, please calm down.
- Slang. a term of familiar address to a man or a woman: Hey, man, take it easy.
- one of the pieces used in playing certain games, as chess or checkers.
- History/Historical. a liegeman; vassal.
- Obsolete. manly character or courage.
- the man, Slang.
- a person or group asserting authority or power over another, especially in a manner experienced as being oppressive, demeaning, or threatening, as an employer, the police, or a dominating racial group.
- a person or group upon whom one is dependent, as the drug supplier for an addict.
- to furnish with men, as for service or defense.
- to take one's place for service, as at a gun or post: to man the ramparts.
- to strengthen, fortify, or brace; steel: to man oneself for the dangers ahead.
- Falconry. to accustom (a hawk) to the presence of men.
- Slang. an expression of surprise, enthusiasm, dismay, or other strong feeling: Man, what a ball game!
- man up, Informal. to act in a typically masculine way, as in taking responsibility or making tough decisions: He should man up and meet the challenge.
- as one man, in complete agreement or accord; unanimously: They arose as one man to protest the verdict.
- be one's own man,
- to be free from restrictions, control, or dictatorial influence; be independent: Now that he has a business he is his own man.
- to be in complete command of one's faculties: After a refreshing nap he was again his own man.
- man and boy, ever since childhood: He's been working that farm, man and boy, for more than 50 years.
- man's man, a man who exemplifies masculine qualities.
- to a man, with no exception; everyone; all: To a man, the members of the team did their best.
Origin of man1
Synonyms for man
Although some editors and writers reject or disregard these objections to man as a generic, many now choose instead to use such terms as human being ( s ), human race, humankind, people, or, when called for by style or context, women and men or men and women. See also -man, -person, -woman.
- an adult male human being, as distinguished from a woman
- (modifier) male; masculinea man child
- archaic a human being regardless of sex or age, considered as a representative of mankind; a person
- (sometimes capital) human beings collectively; mankindthe development of man
- Also called: modern man
- a member of any of the living races of Homo sapiens, characterized by erect bipedal posture, a highly developed brain, and powers of articulate speech, abstract reasoning, and imagination
- any extinct member of the species Homo sapiens, such as Cro-Magnon man
- a member of any of the extinct species of the genus Homo, such as Java man, Heidelberg man, and Solo man
- an adult male human being with qualities associated with the male, such as courage or virilitybe a man
- manly qualities or virtuesthe man in him was outraged
- a subordinate, servant, or employee contrasted with an employer or manager
- (in combination)the number of man-days required to complete a job
- (usually plural) a member of the armed forces who does not hold commissioned, warrant, or noncommissioned rank (as in the phrase officers and men)
- a member of a group, team, etc
- a husband, boyfriend, etcman and wife
- an expression used parenthetically to indicate an informal relationship between speaker and hearer
- a movable piece in various games, such as draughts
- Southern African slang any person: used as a term of address
- a vassal of a feudal lord
- as one man with unanimous action or response
- be one's own man to be independent or free
- he's your man he's the person needed (for a particular task, role, job, etc)
- man and boy from childhood
- sort out the men from the boys or separate the men from the boys to separate the experienced from the inexperienced
- to a man
- without exceptionthey were slaughtered to a man
- informal an exclamation or expletive, often indicating surprise or pleasure
- to provide with sufficient people for operation, defence, etcto man the phones
- to take one's place at or near in readiness for action
- falconry to induce (a hawk or falcon) to endure the presence of and handling by man, esp strangers
Word Origin for man
- Black slang a White man or White men collectively, esp when in authority, in the police, or held in contempt
- slang a drug peddler
- Isle of Man an island in the British Isles, in the Irish Sea between Cumbria and Northern Ireland: a UK Crown Dependency (but not part of the United Kingdom), with its own ancient parliament, the Court of Tynwald; a dependency of Norway until 1266, when for a time it came under Scottish rule; its own language, Manx, became extinct in the 19th century but has been revived to some extent. Capital: Douglas. Pop: 86 159 (2013 est). Area: 588 sq km (227 sq miles)
Old English man, mann "human being, person (male or female); brave man, hero; servant, vassal," from Proto-Germanic *manwaz (cf. Old Saxon, Swedish, Dutch, Old High German man, German Mann, Old Norse maðr, Danish mand, Gothic manna "man"), from PIE root *man- (1) "man" (cf. Sanskrit manuh, Avestan manu-, Old Church Slavonic mozi, Russian muzh "man, male").
Plural men (German Männer) shows effects of i-mutation. Sometimes connected to root *men- "to think" (see mind), which would make the ground sense of man "one who has intelligence," but not all linguists accept this. Liberman, for instance, writes, "Most probably man 'human being' is a secularized divine name" from Mannus [cf. Tacitus, "Germania," chap. 2], "believed to be the progenitor of the human race."
So I am as he that seythe, `Come hyddr John, my man.' 
Sense of "adult male" is late (c.1000); Old English used wer and wif to distinguish the sexes, but wer began to disappear late 13c. and was replaced by man. Universal sense of the word remains in mankind and manslaughter. Similarly, Latin had homo "human being" and vir "adult male human being," but they merged in Vulgar Latin, with homo extended to both senses. A like evolution took place in Slavic languages, and in some of them the word has narrowed to mean "husband." PIE had two stems: *uiHro "freeman" (cf. Sanskrit vira-, Lithuanian vyras, Latin vir, Old Irish fer, Gothic wair) and *hner "man," a title more of honor than *uiHro (cf. Sanskrit nar-, Armenian ayr, Welsh ner, Greek aner).
MAN TRAP. A woman's commodity. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]
Man also was in Old English as an indefinite pronoun, "one, people, they." The chess pieces so called from c.1400. As an interjection of surprise or emphasis, first recorded c.1400, but especially popular from early 20c. Man-about-town is from 1734; the Man "the boss" is from 1918. To be man or mouse "be brave or be timid" is from 1540s. Men's Liberation first attested 1970.
At the kinges court, my brother, Ech man for himself. [Chaucer, "Knight's Tale," c.1386]
Old English mannian "to furnish (a fort, ship, etc.) with a company of men," from man (n.). Meaning "to take up a designated position on a ship" is first recorded 1690s. Meaning "behave like a man, act with courage" is from c.1400. To man (something) out is from 1660s. Related: Manned; manning.
In addition to the idioms beginning with man
- man about town
- man in the street
- man of few words
- man of his word
- man of the moment
- man of the world
- many a
- many hands make light work
- many happy returns
- many is the
- as one (man)
- company man
- dead soldier (man)
- dirty joke (old man)
- every man for himself
- every man has his price
- girl (man) Friday
- hatchet man
- hired hand (man)
- ladies' man
- low man on the totem pole
- marked man
- new person (man)
- no man is an island
- odd man out
- (man) of few words
- one man's meat is another man's poison
- own man
- right-hand man
- see a man about a dog
- to a man
Also see undermen.