mano a mano

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Spanish, literally hand to hand; on equal footing, neither of two participants having any distinct advantage.

Noun[edit]

mano a mano

  1. A head-on conflict or direct competition; a duel.
    The other candidates seemed to disappear as the public debate became a heated mano-a-mano between the two leading candidates.

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

mano a mano (not comparable)

  1. In close confrontation.
    We sat tensely in the courtroom while the mano-a-mano struggle ensued between the two skilled lawyers.

Adverb[edit]

mano a mano (not comparable)

  1. Characterized by head-to-head competition or conflict.
    The newcomer brashly engaged the veteran player mano-a-mano.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This phrase is commonly misunderstood by English speakers who think that the term means “man to man”, though in use this meaning would still be similar.

Spanish[edit]

Phrase[edit]

mano a mano

  1. hand to hand (competition), or sometimes hand in hand (cooperation); on equal terms, close together.

Noun[edit]

mano a mano m (plural mano a mano)

  1. A corrida in which two rival matadors alternate in fighting several bulls each.