Definition of man to man in US English:

man to man


  • 1In a direct and frank way between two men; openly and honestly.

    ‘he was able to talk man to man with the delegates’
    ‘a man-to-man chat’
    • ‘I decided it was time for a man-to-man talk with the guy.’
    • ‘I realize you are my employer, but I'd like to speak with you man to man for a moment, if I may.’
    • ‘Dad did occasionally try to talk to me in a man-to-man, father-to-son kind of way.’
    • ‘I'm very much looking forward to seeing him and sitting down and talking to him man to man.’
    frankly, openly, honestly, directly, candidly, plainly, forthrightly, without beating about the bush
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  • 2Denoting a defensive tactic in a sport such as football or basketball in which each player is responsible for defending against one opponent.

    ‘Washington's cornerbacks are fast enough to cover man-to-man’
    • ‘Concentrate on dribbling, passing, shooting and playing man to man defense.’
    • ‘Our man to man marking has improved and the defence is compact.’
    • ‘One of the biggest keys to a good man to man defensive scheme is what is called player recognition.’
    • ‘I am sure that if you see TV and watch other matches you will see a lot of goals scored from set-pieces, corners and free-kicks against teams who mark man to man.’
    • ‘The game petered out into its traditional pattern of man-to-man marking.’