1. readily perceived by the eye or the understanding; evident; obvious; apparent; plain: a manifest error.
  2. Psychoanalysis. of or relating to conscious feelings, ideas, and impulses that contain repressed psychic material: the manifest content of a dream as opposed to the latent content that it conceals.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make clear or evident to the eye or the understanding; show plainly: He manifested his approval with a hearty laugh.
  2. to prove; put beyond doubt or question: The evidence manifests the guilt of the defendant.
  3. to record in a ship's manifest.
  1. a list of the cargo carried by a ship, made for the use of various agents and officials at the ports of destination.
  2. a list or invoice of goods transported by truck or train.
  3. a list of the cargo or passengers carried on an airplane.

Origin of manifest

1350–1400; (adj.) Middle English < Latin manifestus, manufestus detected in the act, evident, visible; (v.) Middle English manifesten < Middle French manifester < Latin manifestāre, derivative of manifestus. See manus, infest
Related formsman·i·fest·a·ble, adjectiveman·i·fest·er, nounman·i·fest·ly, adverbman·i·fest·ness, nounnon·man·i·fest, adjectivenon·man·i·fest·ly, adverbnon·man·i·fest·ness, nounpre·man·i·fest, verbre·man·i·fest, verb (used with object)self-man·i·fest, adjectivesu·per·man·i·fest, verb (used with object)un·man·i·fest, adjectiveun·man·i·fest·ed, adjective

Synonyms for manifest

Synonym study

3. See display.

Antonyms for manifest Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unmanifest

Historical Examples of unmanifest

  • For him this world is Maya—illusion, and the true life is that which is unmanifest.

  • Kathekos or chaos is the unmanifest, unorganized, unconditioned, unlimited and undifferentiated plasm.

    The Mystery of Space

    Robert T. Browne

  • Not without significance is Paul's assertion that the glory of God's children is now unmanifest but shall be revealed in them.

British Dictionary definitions for unmanifest


  1. easily noticed or perceived; obvious; plain
  2. psychoanal of or relating to the ostensible elements of a dreammanifest content Compare latent (def. 5)
  1. (tr) to show plainly; reveal or displayto manifest great emotion
  2. (tr) to prove beyond doubt
  3. (intr) (of a disembodied spirit) to appear in visible form
  4. (tr) to list in a ship's manifest
  1. a customs document containing particulars of a ship, its cargo, and its destination
    1. a list of cargo, passengers, etc, on an aeroplane
    2. a list of railway trucks or their cargo
    3. mainly US and Canadiana fast freight train carrying perishables
Derived Formsmanifestable, adjectivemanifestly, adverbmanifestness, noun

Word Origin for manifest

C14: from Latin manifestus plain, literally: struck with the hand, from manū with the hand + -festus struck
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 unmanifest



late 14c., "to spread" (one's fame), "to show plainly," from manifest (adj.) or else from Latin manifestare "to discover, disclose, betray" (see manifest (adj.)). Meaning "to display by actions" is from 1560s; reflective sense, of diseases, etc., "to reveal as in operation" is from 1808. Related: Manifested; manifesting.



"ship's cargo," 1706; see manifest (adj.). Earlier, "a public declaration" (c.1600; cf. manifesto), from French manifeste, verbal noun from manifester. Earlier still in English as "a manifestation" (1560s).



late 14c., "clearly revealed," from Old French manifest "evident, palpable," (12c.), or directly from Latin manifestus "plainly apprehensible, clear, apparent, evident;" of offenses, "proved by direct evidence;" of offenders, "caught in the act," probably from manus "hand" (see manual) + -festus "struck" (cf. second element of infest).

Other nations have tried to check ... the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the Continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions. [John O'Sullivan (1813-1895), "U.S. Magazine & Democratic Review," July 1845]

The phrase apparently is O'Sullivan's coinage; the notion is as old as the republic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper