[ mahy-kroh-man-ij ]
/ ˈmaɪ kroʊˌmæn ɪdʒ /
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verb (used with object), mi·cro·man·aged, mi·cro·man·ag·ing.
to manage or control with excessive attention to minor details: He doesn’t think it’s the legislature’s role to micromanage schools.
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Origin of micromanage

First recorded in 1970–75; micro- + manage

OTHER WORDS FROM micromanage

mi·cro·man·age·ment, nounmi·cro·man·ag·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does micromanage mean?

To micromanage is to control and guide something with excessive attention to detail.

Micromanage is most often used in business and industry when a manager or someone in authority tries to control the details their subordinates or colleagues should take care of. For example, if the boss of a company does the work of their employees to save time instead of letting the employees do the work, they are micromanaging.

Micromanage can also be used outside of business, as with group projects, team sports, relationships, and everyday life. For example, if you tell your roommate in detail how to wash the dishes even though they know how to wash dishes, you are micromanaging your roommate.

Example: Maxime always finds a way to micromanage our projects, making everyone feel useless.

Where does micromanage come from?

The first records of the term micromanage come from around the 1970s. It combines the combining form micro-, meaning “small,” and the term manage, meaning “to handle,direct, or govern.”

Micromanagement is caused by a lack of trust in someone, but most often not because of that person’s performance or skill. As a result of the lack of trust, when someone is micromanaged, they will likely perform worse because they are given less opportunity to improve and learn. They are also likely to feel negatively toward the micromanager and may eventually leave the situation.

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What are some other forms related to micromanage?

  • micromanagement (noun)
  • micromanager (noun)

What are some words that share a root or word element with micromanage?

What are some words that often get used in discussing micromanage?

How is micromanage used in real life?

Micromanage is a frequently used word, especially in business. It is most often thought of as a negative action.

Try using micromanage!

True or False?

Telling each employee what is expected from them is a type of micromanaging.

How to use micromanage in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for micromanage

/ (ˈmaɪkrəʊˌmænɪdʒ) /

(tr) to control (a business or project) with excessive attention to minor details
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