Definition of manna in English:



mass noun
  • 1(in the Bible) the substance miraculously supplied as food to the Israelites in the wilderness (Exod. 16).

    • ‘In Exodus for example, the story of manna offers the depiction of God raining food from the heavens, enough for everyone.’
    • ‘The Israelites feasted on manna in the wilderness.’
    • ‘The Lord's providing manna to the Israelites is one of the most well-known events of the Scriptures.’
    • ‘The people were constantly griping about eating manna and their situation in the desert.’
    • ‘In the Old Testament it was manna in the wilderness.’
    • ‘God had fed the Israelites in the wilderness with manna, but also with ‘miraculous flocks of quail’.’
    • ‘But this explanation is irreconcilable with the many distinctive aspects of manna recorded in the Bible.’
    • ‘How does this book explain the manna that the Jews collected every morning for 40 years in the desert?’
    • ‘The Lord provides manna in the desert, loaves and fishes for the multitude, our daily bread, his presence in communion.’
    • ‘The citation is from the story of the manna that transformed the wilderness into abundance.’
    • ‘The manna that succored the Israelites in the wilderness was gathered in baskets, which thus formed part of a divine act of national salvation.’
    • ‘When the people of Israel cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land the manna stops coming.’
    • ‘For the Jews in the synagogue, steeped in the Moses tradition of Exodus salvation, the bread of life was the manna that nurtured their parents' journey from slavery to freedom.’
    • ‘The rainbow concluded the flood, the manna sustained Israel for forty years, and the worm bored through the stones used to build the Temple, so they would not be cut with a weapon that could make war.’
    • ‘He did not witness God's power in parting the Red Sea or giving the people manna in the desert.’
    • ‘The manna taught the Israelites to overcome their belief that they had to compete with one another-and to trust that there would be enough for everyone.’
    • ‘Recall from Exodus 16 that the miracle of manna came in response to the Israelites' complaints for bread.’
    • ‘Rather, on Friday a double portion of manna fell which was to become the food for Shabbat.’
    • ‘They celebrate the Passover, another marker of their identity as God's people, and they no longer have to eat the manna of the wilderness.’
    • ‘Moses and the Hebrews learned that they had to gather manna each morning, that they had to look to God each day.’
    1. 1.1 Something beneficial that appears or is provided unexpectedly or opportunely.
      ‘a major aircraft accident is manna to lawyers’
      • ‘For hardcore British fans, denied the chance to catch their heroes in the flesh, it will no doubt come as manna from heaven.’
      • ‘With a cap on what charities could get, however, any further increase in betting limits became manna from heaven for the private casino industry.’
      • ‘And Parker is manna from heaven for all sorts of reasons.’
      • ‘That defies belief, and it is certainly manna from heaven for the incoming National candidate, who will clearly win that seat.’
      • ‘The pictures were manna from heaven for any political leader going into an election.’
      • ‘But to a player with Huckerby's speed a situation like that is manna from Heaven.’
      • ‘Joburg's balmy weather is manna from heaven for many plants that thrive here all year round.’
      • ‘But when Daniels performed for the Armed Forces it was manna from heaven.’
      • ‘The food was not divine but it was manna for a lonely man.’
      • ‘All this exposure is manna from heaven as far as the drug companies are concerned - but only if it is the right sort.’
      • ‘I haven't seen the film, but it seems to be manna from heaven for the over-50 set.’
      • ‘The general opinion was he was manna from heaven.’
      • ‘For the British tabloids, it was manna from heaven.’
      • ‘When tired, out of money and luck, a travel companion is manna from heaven.’
      • ‘In this situation where the country is in dire need of finances to revamp the economy and better the living of the underprivileged, it is not time to sit and wait for manna from heaven.’
      • ‘In today's economy, innovation, however, is not manna from heaven.’
      • ‘But can Johnston deliver manna to the grocery business?’
      • ‘Open Source technology is manna from heaven to application development engineers.’
      • ‘Cans of soft drink and doughnuts will be manna from heaven for tennis fans queuing for tickets for Wimbledon tennis fortnight next week.’
      • ‘For farmers in a region with no irrigation projects, this is manna from heaven.’
    2. 1.2 (in Christian contexts) spiritual nourishment, especially the Eucharist.
      • ‘When our message is that God is mercy for outcasts and sinners and manna for everyone, how can we not preach?’
      • ‘God is not only mercy for sinners and outcasts but manna for everyone.’
      • ‘Can we translate full-gospel preaching, both manna and mercy, into the language of the Web?’
  • 2A sweet gum obtained from the manna ash or a similar plant, used as a mild laxative.


Old English, via late Latin and Greek from Aramaic mannā, from Hebrew mān, corresponding to Arabic mann, denoting a product of the tamarisk Tamarix mannifera.