Definition of manhood in English:



  • 1The state or period of being a man rather than a child.

    ‘boys in the process of growing to manhood’
    • ‘Danger, thrills, spills, and rebellion are all part of being a boy growing into manhood.’
    • ‘For here is the real conflict by which we move into manhood and maturity.’
    • ‘His continued success has allowed him to grow into manhood with a healthy sense of self, and a record label called Audio Research.’
    • ‘Two men - a boy who grows into early manhood and an old ascetic priest, the lama - are at the centre of the novel.’
    • ‘His childhood was lost, at the age of ten, and on that creaky floor his manhood began.’
    • ‘His voice was just changing from its higher tones of youth to the deeper ones of his manhood.’
    • ‘So he both keeps his one love and loses those he has grown to manhood among, or he loses the one good thing in his life to keep all the things that he has always known.’
    • ‘William had no siblings or friends to comfort him as he grew to manhood.’
    • ‘This begins what becomes an obsessive quest, as Ronan - from adolescence to manhood - tracks the storyteller's whereabouts across the lanes of Ireland.’
    • ‘In the 1380s, as he grew to manhood, his influence on affairs gradually increased.’
    • ‘The son of an English tenant farmer, he received a good education and little else in the Lincolnshire community where he grew to manhood.’
    • ‘Hymer is a young Swedish Viking in his early manhood and the heir to a village chief.’
    • ‘Their eldest son is reaching manhood, and must be about my age.’
    • ‘It's a coming of age story where we see the different stages of manhood.’
    • ‘The thing that made him stand out to her was how he changed in each of her dreams, growing and maturing from adolescence to manhood.’
    • ‘In his early days Paddy was a kind and quiet boy and as he grew into manhood he didn't change.’
    • ‘All Laotian men are expected to become monks, usually in early manhood, before marriage.’
    • ‘His early manhood was partly devoted to using the second to overcome the first.’
    • ‘To the same degree that Hughes defines manhood through compassion, Du Bois defines manhood through intellectual curiosity.’
    • ‘This was the passage to the second cycle of life, manhood.’
    maturity, sexual maturity, adulthood
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The qualities traditionally associated with men, such as courage, strength, and sexual potency.
      ‘we drank to prove our manhood’
      • ‘These sports serve to define dominant masculinity, connecting manhood with violence and competitiveness and often marginalising girls and women.’
      • ‘Confronting ghostly apparitions of Annabel, he is overwhelmed by guilt for forcing her to have children to prove his manhood.’
      • ‘The negative images against which manhood has been constructed, such as womanhood, boyhood, dependency, slavery, and racial and class difference, will be examined.’
      • ‘Literature refutes both people who think gender should be abolished and people who have overly-narrow views of womanhood or manhood.’
      • ‘Henry has to prove his manhood by juggling a wife and a full-time mistress.’
      • ‘This scene is particularly important since in the very act of proving his manhood, the hero loses it completely.’
      • ‘No critique of American culture and manhood is complete without a discussion of athletics and the color line that long pervaded American sports.’
      • ‘The cops were itching for a fight, and to prove their manhood.’
      • ‘We're living in an era of greatly diminished expectations for heroes and further diminished standards for manhood among mere mortals.’
      • ‘None of the video's characters embodies active manhood.’
      • ‘The court made every effort to actively link men to their sexual abilities by publicizing these proofs of manhood.’
      • ‘In certain African tribes, one had to slay a lion to prove one's manhood.’
      • ‘Did they think they were proving their manhood by doing this?’
      • ‘She says that she has truly found a partner in life with Glenn, who is secure in his manhood, even when people make the mistake of calling him Mr. Greenwood.’
      • ‘Their coach questions everything from their heart to their courage to their brains to their manhood to their commitment.’
      • ‘His is an elusive quest for self despite prescriptive notions of manhood and sexual identity.’
      • ‘Given the fact that manhood is associated with power, and being powerless is seen as unmanly, violence becomes a means to prove otherwise to others and oneself.’
      • ‘For a man like him, a daredevil skier and helicopter pilot, being mayor would also be a supreme test of manhood.’
      • ‘Entering Nunnington Hall is like stepping back to the heyday of the British Empire when English gentlemen proved their manhood by shooting game and fighting in wars.’
      • ‘Masculinity and manhood have nothing to do with whom you sleep with or whom you love.’
      virility, manliness, machismo, masculinity, maleness
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    2. 1.2The men of a country or society regarded collectively.
      ‘Germany had lost the best of her young manhood’
      • ‘The names of the fallen - sometimes a family's entire fine crop of young manhood - feature on those war memorials and on the roll of honour in memorial halls.’
    3. 1.3informal Used euphemistically to refer to a man's penis.
      ‘car worker Dave nearly lost his manhood on the production line’
      • ‘He kneed me from behind, getting the more sensitive part of my manhood.’
  • 2archaic The condition of being human.

    ‘the unity of Godhead and manhood in Christ’