1. Policeman; any representation of the law. 2. Prison keeper, warden, or other prison official. "Lay zex (be ready to warn me) for the man, I'm gonna cop a heel on (beat) that new fink (informer) in the shop."

- american underworld dictionary - 1950
man (Homo sapiens), pl. men

An intelligent mammal that walks upright on two legs, typically ranging from 5 to 6 1/2 feet in height, slightly taller for the males than females.

Homo sapiens is distinguished by its large brain size, approximately 85 cubic inches, far larger than that of the other extant primates that are its closest relatives. Also, in comparison to those primates, man is nearly hairless, having dense hair only on the head, armpits, and pelvic region, though thin hair often covers the rest of the body.

Man lives on almost all of the land on earth, from the arctic to the tropics, and from coastal regions to mountains, though the highest population density tends to be found at lower altitudes and in temperate climates.

Man in omnivorous, eating both plant and animal matter, as well as artificial food man creates with machines. Man was once characterized as a hunter-gatherer, hunting and killing animals for food, as well as gathering vegetable matter, but in the present day, most of man's food is produced through the science of agriculture, in which plants are grown in a maintained environment and animals are raised in captivity, by a small fraction of the population, and a complex social structure allows this food to be traded among all members of the species. This social structure includes a complex system of languages, which vary by location, a system of money by which widely differing assets and services can be traded, and a complex system of breeding behavior.

Man is a generally aggressive creature, who instinctively stakes out and defends his territory and possessions, though its social structure controls to a great extent what territory each man can claim. The social structure varies in different parts of the world, and men from different types of social structure are known to fight long, contracted battles called wars, often not over possessions or territory but over these disagreements in the social structure, often over tiny details in the overall social structure.

In most parts of the world, man's social structure tends toward a monogamous relationship. Breeding is usually preceded by a courtship ritual which can vary in length from hours to years and is equally varied in nature. Breeding pairs tend to remain together for a length of time, but often not for the remainder of their lives; young usually remain with the family until adulthood. Some social contact often continues after the young leave the family. Promiscuous mating in addition to or sometimes instead of the monogamous relationship is common. In some social systems it is common for a male to keep multiple mates, while others shun this practice.

In the last few centuries man has learned to construct complex machines, which have had immense consequences on the social structure; in addition, they have allowed him to extend his food supply by more efficient systems of agriculture as well as by the production of artificial foods. They have also allowed him to extend his habitat into the extremely cold polar regions and even underwater and into space for short lengths of time. Man has even constructed communication machines that allow communication over a long distance, literally all the way around the earth, and man has constructed artificial memory systems that allow the compilation of databases such as Everything 2.

Likewise, a highly developed study of medicine has allowed man to extend his average life span beyond 70 years, and to expand the population to immense levels.

Acronym for Metropolitan Area Network, used to describe a multi-site network that is contained within a city. WAN is generally used in its place.

KANJI: DAN NAN otoko (man, male)

ASCII Art Representation:

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Character Etymology:

This character is usually explained as a strength (at bottom) out in the fields; although, there is also a contending theory that fields was used purely phonetically to express the word reliable, to give a combined meaning of reliable strength.

Other Information:

If you only learn one character, learn this one. If you ever find yourself in Eastern Asia or in an East-Asian section of town, by knowing this character it will ensure you go into the right bathroom!

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: DAN NAN
kun-yomi: otoko o

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: mi

English Definitions:

  1. DAN: baron, man, male.
  2. NAN: counter for sons.
  3. otoko, onoko: man, male; fellow; adult; manhood; male servant; paramour.
  4. otoko(rashii): manly, manful.
  5. otoko(datera) ni: unmanly.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 3731
Henshall: 54

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

男性 (dansei): the male sex.
(otokogi): gallantry.
(danjo): men and women.
(danjo kyougaku): coeducation.
(dankon): penis, phallus.
(danshoku, nanshoku, okama): sodomy; male homosexual.

  Previous: big  |  Japanese Kanji  |  Next: middle

African-American jazz musicians in the 1930s began calling each other "man" as a sarcastic comment on, and way of standing up to, the widespread racist use of the word "boy" to refer to adult black men.

According to Ken Burns' documentary Jazz, this is the origin of our contemporary usage of "man" as an informal all-purpose vocative (e.g., "Hey, man, how are you?", or "Did you hear about the E2 IPO, man?"). The OED quotes a source from 1960, though nothing from the 1930s, describing that as the intent of the usage.

Confusingly, man is not only the command to browse a manual page on a UN*X system, it is also the name of the troff and nroff (and therefore groff, too) macros "to lay out the reference pages in this [the UNIX] manual".

man macros exist to typeset the title and section headings of the manpage. Additionally, because it's just a simple text file, other commands such as whatis peek into the man-based "source code" for the manpage to fetch their data.

The man command is usually a horrible shell script (and it's completely different on every UN*X system!). It generally looks for a preformatted manpage; if it doesn't find one (and if the system has a *roff command...), it searches MANPATH for matching manual page, then formats it with a long pipeline. Somewhere in the pipeline you'll always find

... | nroff -man | ...
That's the man package coming into play.

gorgonzola points out that the name "man" is a horrible pun. All troff and nroff macro packages have names beginning with "m". "-m" is the switch used to select a macro package, but by punning the name is considered to start with an "m" -- see ms and me for more examples.

A Japanese numeral meaning ten thousand, the next degree after sen (one thousand), hyaku (one hundred), and juu (ten). This is also where Japanese diverges from most Western representations of large numbers: for example, one hundred thousand is represented as juu-man, literally "ten ten-thousands". This continues with hyaku-man (one million; hundred ten-thousands) and sen-man (ten million; thousand ten-thousands), until you get to oku (one hundred millon; ten thousand ten-thousands).

Can be written as 万, and ten thousand is sometimes written as 1,0000 in more traditional contexts.

Man is ten thousand or accurately 10000 in Korean culture. Like in Japan it is a natural entity, meaning a word that is not a multiple, the way we think of million in Western culture
To demonstrate its usage in Korean counting:

10 (ship)
100 (paek)
1000 (chon)
10000 (man)
10 0000(ship man)
100 0000(baek man)
1000 0000(chon man)

Until the next mental unit, the ok.

To pronounce man correctly, imagine you are speaking man with a weak Jamaican accent as in, "yeah man."

Man Won
Man won is the largest bill in Korean currency as legal tender. This can be really annoying. Imagine the largest bill being $10. The larger denominations 100,000 and higher are bank cheques meaning you can't use them without showing ID or providing personal details.

Due to inflation, the man won is the common denomination in Korea, and it can cause problems for Koreans in mental conversion to English thousands and millions.1

1For example:
Korean,"The car is i chon man 'on."
-->Korean mental conversion - "the car is two thousand ten thousand won?"
-->"The car is twenty million won."

See ten thousand for more informantion on the significance of 10000

Man (?), n. [Abbrev. fr. mamma.]



© Webster 1913.

Man (?), n.; pl. Men (#). [AS. mann, man, monn, mon; akin to OS., D., & OHG. man, G. mann, Icel. ma&edh;r, for mannr, Dan. Mand, Sw. man, Goth. manna, Skr. manu, manus, and perh. to Skr. man to think, and E. mind. &root;104. Cf. Minx a pert girl.]


A human being; -- opposed tobeast.

These men went about wide, and man found they none, But fair country, and wild beast many [a] one. R. of Glouc.

The king is but a man, as I am; the violet smells to him as it doth to me. Shak.

<--" 'Tain't a fit night out for man nor beast! " [W.C. Fields] -->


Especially: An adult male person; a grown-up male person, as distinguished from a woman or a child.

When I became a man, I put away childish things. I Cor. xiii. 11.

Ceneus, a woman once, and once a man. Dryden.


The human race; mankind.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion. Gen. i. 26.

The proper study of mankind is man. Pope.


The male portion of the human race.

Woman has, in general, much stronger propensity than man to the discharge of parental duties. Cowper.


One possessing in a high degree the distinctive qualities of manhood; one having manly excellence of any kind.


This was the noblest Roman of them all . . . the elements So mixed in him that Nature might stand up And say to all the world "This was a man! Shak.


An adult male servant; also, a vassal; a subject.

Like master, like man. Old Proverb.

The vassal, or tenant, kneeling, ungirt, uncovered, and holding up his hands between those of his lord, professed that he did become his man from that day forth, of life, limb, and earthly honor. Blackstone.


A term of familiar address often implying on the part of the speaker some degree of authority, impatience, or haste; as, Come, man, we 've no time to lose !


A married man; a husband; -- correlative to wife


I pronounce that they are man and wife. Book of Com. Prayer.

every wife ought to answer for her man. Addison.


One, or any one, indefinitely; -- a modified survival of the Saxon use of man, or mon, as an indefinite pronoun.

A man can not make him laugh. Shak.

A man would expect to find some antiquities; but all they have to show of this nature is an old rostrum of a Roman ship. Addison.


One of the piece with which certain games, as chess or draughts, are played.

Man is often used as a prefix in composition, or as a separate adjective, its sense being usually self-explaining; as, man child, man eater or maneater, man-eating, man hater or manhater, man-hating, manhunter, man-hunting, mankiller, man-killing, man midwife, man pleaser, man servant, man-shaped, manslayer, manstealer, man-stealing, manthief, man worship, etc.

Man is also used as a suffix to denote a person of the male sex having a business which pertains to the thing spoken of in the qualifying part of the compound; ashman, butterman, laundryman, lumberman, milkman, fireman, showman, waterman, woodman. Where the combination is not familiar, or where some specific meaning of the compound is to be avoided, man is used as a separate substantive in the foregoing sense; as, apple man, cloth man, coal man, hardware man, wood man (as distinguished from woodman).

Man ape Zool., a anthropoid ape, as the gorilla. -- Man at arms, a designation of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries for a soldier fully armed. -- Man engine, a mechanical lift for raising or lowering people through considerable distances; specifically Mining, a contrivance by which miners ascend or descend in a shaft. It consists of a series of landings in the shaft and an equal number of shelves on a vertical rod which has an up and down motion equal to the distance between the successive landings. A man steps from a landing to a shelf and is lifted or lowered to the next landing, upon which he them steps, and so on, traveling by successive stages. -- Man Friday, a person wholly subservient to the will of another, like Robinson Crusoe's servant Friday. -- Man of straw, a puppet; one who is controlled by others; also, one who is not responsible pecuniarily. -- Man-of-the earth Bot., a twining plant (Ipomea pandurata) with leaves and flowers much like those of the morning-glory, but having an immense tuberous farinaceous root. -- Man of war. (a) A warrior; a soldier. Shak. (b) Naut. See in the Vocabulary. -- To be one's own man, to have command of one's self; not to be subject to another.


© Webster 1913.

Man (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Manned (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Manning.]


To supply with men; to furnish with a sufficient force or complement of men, as for management, service, defense, or the like; to guard; as, to man a ship, boat, or fort.

See how the surly Warwick mans the wall ! Shak.

They man their boats, and all their young men arm. Waller.


To furnish with strength for action; to prepare for efficiency; to fortify.

"Theodosius having manned his soul with proper reflections."



To tame, as a hawk.




To furnish with a servants.




To wait on as a manservant.



⇒ In "Othello," V. ii. 270, the meaning is uncertain, being, perhaps: To point, to aim, or to manage.

To man a yard Naut., to send men upon a yard, as for furling or reefing a sail. -- To man the yards Naut., to station men on the yards as a salute or mark of respect.


© Webster 1913.

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