[ men ]
/ mɛn /
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plural of man.
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Other definitions for men (2 of 2)


variant of meno- before a vowel: menarche.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does men- mean?

Men- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “month.” It is used in a few medical terms, specifically in references to menstruation.

Men- comes from the Greek mḗn, meaning “month.” It’s distantly related to the English word moon, itself related to the word month. Many calendars, both in the past and present, are based on the cycles of the moon.

Menstruation is the periodic flow (known as menses) of blood and other substances from the uterus, which happens approximately every month in women of certain ages. Indeed, both menstruation and menses derive from the Latin mēnsis, meaning “month.”

Men- is a variant of meno-, which loses its –o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use meno- article.

Examples of men-

The combining form men- is rare. One example of combining form men- can be found in the word menarche, meaning “the first menstrual period.”

The first part of the word, men-, refers to “menstruation.” The second part of the word, arche, comes from the Greek word for “beginning.” Menarche means “beginning of menstruation.”

What are some words that use the combining form men-?

What are some other forms that men- may be commonly confused with?

Many other words begin with the letters men- but do not use men- as a combining form to refer to menstruation. Menial, menace, and mental are just three examples. And the word men, plural of man, is entirely spelled with the letters m-e-n, but has nothing to do with months or menses.

Break it down!

Menarche is the period of a woman’s life when she starts menstruating. Menopause is when menstruating ends. What is menacme?

How to use men in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for men

/ (mɛn) /

the plural of man
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with men


see all things to all people (men); separate the men from the boys. Also see under man.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.