Definition for MAN

MAN, n. [plur. Men. Sax. man, mann and mon, mankind, man, a woman, a vassal, also one, any one, like the Fr. on; Goth. manna; Sans. man; D. man, a man, a husband; mensch, a human being, man, woman, person; G. id; Dan. man, menneske; Sw. man, meniskia; Sax. mennesc, human; Ice. mann, a man, a husband; W. mynw, a person, a body, from mwn, that which rises up or stretches out. The primary sense is form, image, whence species, coinciding probably with the Fr. mine, Eng. mien, Arm. man or min, look, aspect, countenance; Ch. and Heb. מין, species, kind; Heb. תמונה, image, similitude; Syr. ܡܝܢܐ, progeny. It remarkable that in the Icelandic, this word, a little varied, is used in Gen. i, 26, 27. “Og Gud sagde, ver vilium gera mannenn, epter mind og liking vorre.” And God said, Let us make man after our image and likeness. “Og Gud skapade mannenn epter sinne mind, epter Guds mind skapade hann hann, og han skapade thau karlman og kvinnu.” Literally, And God shaped man after his image, after God's image shaped he them, and he shaped them male and female; karlman, male, (see Carl and Churl,) and kvinnu, female, that is, queen, woman. Icelandic Bible. Man in its radical sense, agrees almost precisely with Adam, in the Shemitic languages.]

  1. Mankind; the human race; the whole species of human beings; beings distinguished from all other animals by the powers of reason and speech, as well as by their shape and dignified aspect. “Os homini sublime dedit.” And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion. Gen. i. Man that is born of woman, is of few days and full trouble. Job xiv. My spirit shall not always strive with man. Gen. vi. I will destroy man whom I have created. Gen. vi. There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man. 1 Cor. x. It is written, man shall not live by bread alone. Matth. iv. There must be somewhere such a rank as man. Pope. Respecting man, whatever wrong we call — Pope. But vindicate the ways of God to man. Pope. The proper study of mankind is man. Pope. In the System of Nature, man is ranked as a distinct genus. Encyc. When opposed to woman, man sometimes denotes the male sex in general. Woman has, in general, much stronger propensity than man to discharge of parental duties. Cowper.
  2. A male individual of the human race, of adult growth or years. The king is but a man as I am. Shak. And the man dreams but what the boy believed. Dryden.
  3. A male of the human race; often used in compound words, or in the nature of an adjective; as, a man-child; men-cooks; men-servants.
  4. A servant, or an attendant of the male sex. I and my man will presently go ride. Cowley.
  5. A word of familiar address. We speak no treason, man. Shak.
  6. It sometimes bears the sense of a male adult of some uncommon qualifications; particularly, the sense of strength, vigor, bravery, virile powers, or magnanimity, as distinguished from the weakness, timidity or impotence of a boy, or from the narrow-mindedness of low-bred men. I dare do all that may become a man. Shak. Will reckons he should not have been the man he is, had he not broke windows. Addison. So in popular language, it is said, he is no man. Play your part like a man. He has not the spirit of a man. Thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 1 Sam. xvii.
  7. An individual of the human species. In matters of equity between man and man. Watts. Under this phraseology, females may be comprehended. So a law restraining man, or every man from a particular act, comprehends women and children, if of competent age to be the subjects of law.
  8. Man is sometimes opposed to boy or child, and sometimes to beast.
  9. One who is master of his mental powers, or who conducts himself with his usual judgment. When a person has lost his senses, or acts without his usual judgment, we say, he is not his own man. Ainsworth.
  10. It is sometimes used indefinitely, without reference to a particular individual; any person; one. This is as much as a man can desire. A man, in an instant, may discover the assertion to be impossible. More. This word however is always used in the singular number, referring to an individual. In this respect it does not answer to the French on, nor to the use of man by our Saxon ancestors. In Saxon, man ofsloh, signifies, they slew; man sette up, they set or fitted out. So in German, man sagt, may be rendered, one says, it is said, they say, or people say. So in Danish, man siger, one says, it is said, they say.
  11. In popular usage, a husband. Every wife ought to answer for her man. Addison.
  12. A movable piece at chess or draughts.
  13. In feudal law, a vassal, a liege subject or tenant. The vassal or tenant, kneeling, ungirt, uncovered and holding up his hands between those of his lord, professed that he did become his man from that day forth, of life, lumb, and earthly honor. Blackstone. Man of war, a ship of war, an armed ship.

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