From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English manhode, also manhede (> English manhead), equivalent to man +‎ -hood. Cognate with Middle Low German manheit (manhood), German Mannheit (manhood).


  • IPA(key): /ˈmænhʊd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ænhʊd


manhood (countable and uncountable, plural manhoods)

  1. The state or condition of being a human being.
    Synonym: humanity
    He feared the speedy decline of all manhood.
  2. The state or condition of being a man.
    • 1936 Feb. 15, Ernest Hemingway, letter to Maxwell Perkins:
      Feel awfully about Scott... It was a terrible thing for him to love youth so much that he jumped straight from youth to senility without going through manhood. The minute he felt youth going he was frightened again and thought there was nothing between youth and age.
    He was a strapping youth poised on the brink of manhood.
  3. All of the men of a given place, area, or any human subgroup (ethnicity, nation, race, religion, family, work crew or ship's crew, etc.) regarded collectively.
    Synonym: mankind (exclusively and universally: only synonymous in cases for which women are excluded, and when the meaning of manhood is universal or worldwide)
    Antonyms: womanhood, womankind
    During the Second World War, Russia lost a great percentage of its young manhood, giving rise to a great wave of widowhood in the country.
    • 1908, L. Brent Vaughan (Editor), The New Standard History of the World Volume 2, page 809:
      [] it was not until the year 1870, after the republic had been completely drained of its manhood and resources, that the long war was terminated by the capture and death of Lopez []
    • 1914, D.J. Griffin, Hon. Sec. Castleisland, Kerry, Ireland , Article from the Newspaper "Ireland", Wednesday, November 11, 1914 Title: "Kerry Staunch and True, Great Meeting in Castleisland" :
      But he thanked them all the same for the good example they had shown the county and the country, that in time of trouble, in time of difficulty, and in time of doubt, the manhood of this district and of the surrounding district, and the manhood of Clan Desmond should show their faith in the old grand ideals of a free and united Ireland (cheers).
    • 1916, Dana Burnet (American Poet) , Excerpt from the poem: "The Gunboat" :
      But nosin’ down the roadway past the bones of other wrecks / Goes the doughty little gunboat with her manhood on her decks!
    • 1923, Douglas Wood Miller, Practical Exercises in News Writing and Editing, page 112:
      The greatest product of any country is her manhood. What if she can boast of coffers bursting with gold, when she raises men with earthen hearts?
    • 1932 (October), J.D. Eggleston, The Attitude of Virginia Leaders Toward Slavery and Secession Appearing in: The Virginia Teacher, Volume 13, Issue 7, .pp. 147 - 154:
      Her (the American South's) soil was drenched with blood; the very flower of her manhood was martyred; her women and children were made to suffer in the extreme; her property was destroyed by forced emancipation, by the devastation of war, []
    • 2003, Lenn E. Goodman, Islamic Humanism page 112:
      Long focused on its Soviet adversary, America seemed barely to notice the manhood of Islam. Training, dedication, religious zeal, planning, even where purity might falter, would correct all that. Islam needed young men, skilled, willing to die. The United States would be reduced.
  4. The idealized nature of a man: all of the characteristics traditionally and ideally ascribed to manliness regarded collectively.
    Synonyms: manfulness, manliness, mannishness
    Antonyms: womanhood, womanishness, womanliness
    My goodness, James certainly is a prime example of manhood, isn't he?
    Traditionally, men sought to enhance the manhood of their young sons, so that they would become manly men, but in general, men no longer do so.
    • 1880, Richard Francis Burton, Os Lusíadas, volume I, page 23:
      "And as their valour, so you trow, defied
      on aspe'rous voyage cruel harm and sore,
      so many changing skies their manhood tried,
      such climes where storm-winds blow and billows roar[.]"
  5. The self-concept of a man being with respect to his possession of the various qualities traditionally and ideally ascribed to manliness; a man's sense or view of himself as being more or less manly.
    Antonym: womanhood
    The failure of William's business seems to have been quite damaging to his manhood.
    I feel that when you boss me around, you insult my manhood.
    • 1925 July – 1926 May, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “(please specify the chapter number)”, in The Land of Mist (eBook no. 0601351h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, published April 2019:
      It was a racking experience, and he did not repeat it. The muscular cramps which are characteristic of the complaint were tying the sufferer into knots, and he was biting his lips to shut down the screams which might have relieved his agony at the expense of his manhood.
  6. (euphemistic) The male genitalia, especially the penis.
    Hypernym: (slang) junk
    Antonym: womanhood
    She spied on him in the shower and glimpsed his manhood.
    • 1936, Rollo Ahmed, The Black Art, London: Long, page 50:
      In the course of a journey the Rabbis [...] came across a young man who had been robbed of his manhood and made a eunuch by a certain witch.
    • 2016, Rory Tingle, “Thai man has a sex ring removed with bolt cutters after it became stuck on his penis”, in Daily Mail, Associated Newspapers:
      A Thai man was taken to hospital to have a sex toy removed with bolt cutters after it got stuck on his penis. He was using the device at home but was left in agony when he could not detach it from his manhood.

Coordinate terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]