in a manner of speaking

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

in a manner of speaking

  1. As it were, figuratively speaking, in a manner, in a way, in a certain respect.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, ch. 20:
      "Well, well, cap'n," returned the sea-cook, ". . . Why, there you all are together like a happy family, in a manner of speaking."
    • 1900, Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim, ch. 9:
      No doubt it maddened him; it knocked him over afresh—in a manner of speaking.
    • 1913, Jeffery Farnol, The Amateur Gentleman, ch. 28:
      [H]e is—in a manner of speaking—in eclipse as it were, sir!"
    • 1939, George Orwell, Coming Up for Air:
      Because in a manner of speaking I am sentimental about my childhood—not my own particular childhood, but the civilization which I grew up in and which is now, I suppose, just about at its last kick.
    • 1961, Harold Pinter, The Collection:
      James. Brought up in the country, I suppose?
      Bill. In a manner of speaking, yes.
    • 1979, Tom Stoppard, Undiscovered Country:
      Rosenstock. If the gentlemen would perhaps like to try the Alpenrose...
      First Hiker. Is that a hotel too?
      Rosenstock. In a manner of speaking.

Usage notes[edit]




  • Roget's International Thesaurus, fourth edition. T. Y. Crowell Co., 1977.
  • Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language. Random House, 1996.