man

man NOUN (pl. men) 1) an adult human male. 2) a male member of a workforce, team, etc. 3) a husband or lover. 4) a person. 5) human beings in general. 6) a figure or token used in a board game.
VERB (manned, manning) provide (a place or machine) with the personnel to run, operate, or defend it.
EXCLAMATION informal, chiefly N. Amer. used for emphasis or to express surprise, admiration, or delight.
every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost — Cf. ↑every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost
man about town — Cf. man about town
man and boy — Cf. ↑man and boy
the man in the street — Cf. ↑the man in the street
man of the cloth — Cf. ↑man of the cloth
man of God — Cf. ↑man of God
man of letters — Cf. ↑man of letters
man of straw (also straw man) — Cf. ↑man of straw man
to a man — Cf. ↑to a man
USAGE Traditionally the word man has been used to refer not only to adult males but also to human beings in general. There is a historical explanation for this: in Old English the principal sense of man was ‘a human being’, and the words wer and wif were used to refer specifically to ‘a male person’ and ‘a female person’ respectively. Subsequently, man replaced wer as the normal term for ‘a male person’, but at the same time the older sense ‘a human being’ remained in use. The generic use of man to refer to ‘human beings in general’ is now widely regarded as old-fashioned or sexist. Acceptable alternatives include the the human race or humankind.
ORIGIN Old English.

English terms dictionary. 2015.

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