Language: Old English


1 noun
man1 S1 W1 plural men

male person

[countable] an adult male human [↪ woman]:
There were two men and a woman in the car.
He's a very kind man.
a man's watch
Don't keep Hansen waiting - he's a busy man.


[countable usually singular] a man who has the qualities that people think a man should have, such as being brave, strong etc:
Come on, be a man now. No more crying.
He wasn't man enough (=strong or brave enough) to face up to his responsibilities.
make a man (out) of somebody (=make a boy or young man start behaving in a confident way)
Running his own business has really made a man out of Terry.


[countable] a person, either male or female - used especially in formal situations or in the past:
All men are equal in the eyes of the law.
a man's right to work


[uncountable] people as a group:
This is one of the worst diseases known to man.
the evolution of man
prehistoric/stone-age/modern man (=people who lived at a particular stage of human development)


a) [countable usually plural] a man who works for an employer:
Why were there no protests from the men at the factory?
b) BO [countable] a man who does a job for you, especially repairing something:
Has the man been to fix the TV?
gas man/rent man etc
I waited all day for the gas man.

the man from something

a man who works for a particular company or organization:
Was that the man from the PR agency?

particular kind of man

a) a man who comes from a particular place, does a particular kind of work, or is connected with a particular organization, especially a university or company:
I think she married a Belfast man.
I've been a military man all my life.
Even a Harvard man has a lot to learn about politics.
b) a man who likes, or likes doing, a particular thing:
I'm more of a jazz man myself.
Are you a betting man?


a) used when speaking to an adult male, especially when you are excited, angry etc:
Stop talking nonsense, man!
b) used when speaking to someone, especially an adult male:
You look great, man!


[countable usually plural]PM a soldier or sailor who is under the authority of an officer:
The Captain ordered his men to fire.


[countable] informalSSF a woman's husband or boyfriend
somebody's man
She spent five years waiting for her man to come out of prison.

the man

a) used to talk about a man you dislike, a man who has done something stupid etc:
Don't listen to him - the man's a complete idiot.

The Man

American English old-fashioned someone who has authority over you, especially a police officer

somebody's your man

spoken used to say that a particular man is the best person for a job, situation etc:
If you need repairs done in the house, Brian's your man.

you da man!

, you're the man! American English spoken used to praise someone for having done something well

our man

spoken used by the police to refer to a man that they are watching or trying to find, especially because they think he is responsible for a crime:
Gareth couldn't possibly be our man. He couldn't possibly be a murderer.
Perhaps our man parked his car at the station and took the train.

our man in/at something

a man who is the representative of a country or organization in a particular place:
our man in Rome
a report on the accident from our man at the scene

men in (grey) suits

informal the men who control businesses, organizations etc, considered as a group, especially when you think they are boring

a man of his word

a man you can trust, who will do what he has promised to do:
He had promised to help, and Sally knew that Dr Neil was a man of his word.

a man of few words

a man who does not talk very much:
Being a man of few words, his message was short and to the point.

be your own man

to behave and think independently without worrying about what other people think:
I'm my own man. I say what I believe.

the man of the moment/hour/year

a man who has recently done something important:
Olson was man of the hour when the team beat the Tigers.

it's every man for himself

spoken used to say that people will not help each other:
In journalism it's every man for himself.

the man in the street

the man on the Clapham omnibus British English old-fashioned the average man or the average person [= Joe Bloggs/Schmo]:
This kind of music doesn't appeal to the man in the street.

a man of the people

a man who understands and expresses the views and opinions of ordinary people:
The prime minister is a man of the people.

a man's man

a man who enjoys being with other men and doing sports and activities with them, and is popular with men rather than women:
He enjoyed his reputation as a man's man, but was careful never to neglect his family.

a ladies' man

a man who is popular with women and who likes to go out with a lot of different women:
Paul likes to think he's a bit of a ladies' man.

man and boy

British English if a man has done something man and boy, he has done it all his life:
I've worked on that farm man and boy.

man and wife

if a man and a woman are man and wife, they are married:
I now pronounce you man and wife (=you are now officially married).

live as man and wife

if a man and woman live as man and wife, they live together as if they are married, although they are not

as one man

written if a group of people do something as one man, they do it together:
The audience rose as one man to applaud the singers.

to a man/to the last man

written used to say that all the men in a group do something or have a particular quality:
They were socialists to a man.


a rich man who goes out a lot to parties, clubs, theatres etc:
In his designer suit and shiny shoes he looked quite the man about town.

man of God/man of the cloth

RR a priest:
You'd believe a man of the cloth, wouldn't you?

my (good) man

British English old-fashioned spoken used when talking to someone of a lower social class - do not use this phrase:
My good man, I really don't think you should be here.

my man

spoken used by some men to greet a friend:
Jason, my man! How's it going?

your/yer man

spoken used to talk about a particular man - used mainly in Ireland:
I've got to go and see yer man up this afternoon.


[countable] old-fashionedBO a male servant:
My man will drive you to the station.


[countable]DGB one of the pieces you use in a game such as chess

every man jack

old-fashioned each person in a group:
Spies, every man jack of them, I'd bet.

kick/hit a man when he's down

to treat someone badly when you know that they already have problems:
Most of his rivals couldn't resist kicking a man when he was down.

the man of the house

the most important male member of a family, who is responsible for doing things such as paying bills, making important decisions etc:
Since my father's death, my uncle was the man of the house.

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