Slang dictionary

manther

[ man-ther ]

What does manther mean?

A manther is the male version of a cougar, or a middle-aged woman who has the hots for younger men. Manthers are older men who pursue partners significantly younger than them.

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Related words

silver fox, 🦖 - t-rex emoji , half your age plus seven, sugar daddy, Mrs. Robinson, double standard

Examples of manther

Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson are manther material you can't change my mind
@greatvaluebowie, August 2018
i like the part in black panther when tchalla visits the spirit world and his dad animorphs from a panther to a manther
@PatrickCharlto5, August 2018
There’s a new predator in town, whose weapon is deadly charm—and a fat wallet. The manther has an insatiable appetite for girls half his age, and will do whatever it takes to get his claws into some perky flesh.
Sebastian Agassi, Evening Standard, May 2013
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Where does manther come from?

Zilligen Design Studio

We might say 2003 was the year of the cougar, with an older Demi Moore dating a younger Ashton Kutcher at the time and an older Cameron Diaz shacking up with a younger Justin Timberlake. This phenomenon exposed a sexist double standard, though: Why is there a name for a woman who dates younger men while older men who date younger women are seen as nothing out of the ordinary?

Debate ensued—and the manther was on the linguistic prowl. It had competition, though. One Urban Dictionary user has suggested rhino because manthers are usually “both horny AND ugly.” Hyena and shark have been other predatory contenders. But it was manther, debuting on Urban Dictionary in 2004, that prevailed. The term is a blend of man and panther. Not only is it fun to say, but it keeps the whole older/younger relationship dyad in the cat family.

Some notable celebrities who have been said to be manthers include Prince Charles, whose late wife, Princess Diana, was 13 years his junior. Bruce Willis’s wife Emma Emming is 23 years younger. And don’t get us started on the late Hugh Hefner of Playboy fame …

Stuff.co.nz / Getty Images

Who uses manther?

Manther is mostly used as a playful term, but it can pack a punch as a way to call out sexist double standards about dating age differences and older dudes creeping on younger girls. Although manther often refers to straight men, it’s also used in the gay community to describe older guys who chase after younger men.

The blend of man and panther as manther has seen plenty of uses in other domains. Furries may use manther for a man who dresses up as a panther. A 2016 children’s book was called Beware the Monstrous Manther! Hip-hop artists Manther dropped their eponymous debut in 2010.

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Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of manther like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of manther that will help our users expand their word mastery.