Definition of manual in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmanjʊ(ə)l/


1Relating to or done with the hands: manual dexterity
More example sentences
  • They are the only primates in the world that subsist on grass, and they have the greatest manual dexterity of any monkey on earth.
  • And he did so with an enviable manual dexterity driven by a witty, incisive mind.
  • Loss of abilities related to manual dexterity may affect work performance and may threaten or end essential career options.
done with one's hands, labouring, physical, blue-collar
1.1(Of a device) operated or controlled by hand, rather than automatically or electronically: a manual typewriter
More example sentences
  • An exquisite piece of workmanship, it is operated by a manual lever and recreates the sounds of the harp, harmonica and piccolo.
  • It can change gear manually in fractions of a second whether using the manual gear lever or F1-style paddles on the steering wheel.
  • If you get tired of the automatic, you can switch over to a motor-racing derived manual system operated by paddles located behind the steering wheel.
1.2 [attributive] Using or working with the hands: a manual labourer
More example sentences
  • In summer, many manual laborers take their tops off because they get sweaty, or like to saunter along the sidewalks topless.
  • These manual laborers, long accustomed to toiling in the fields, are good workers.
  • Some work as manual laborers while others work as farmers, especially when the fishing is bad.


1A book giving instructions or information: a computer manual
More example sentences
  • Workers should also read the instruction manuals for computer terminals and be familiar with their operation, he said.
  • The book is an instruction manual for merchants in how to calculate profit and loss.
  • Legal and economic literature is arranged next to history books and computer manuals.
handbook, set of instructions, instructions, instruction book, guide, companion, reference book, ABC, guidebook;
Latin vade mecum
informal bible
rare enchiridion
1.1 historical (In the Christian Church) a book of the forms to be used by priests in the administration of the sacraments.
Example sentences
  • This was used as church manual and is significant because of its early age and quoting other books of the Bible.
2A vehicle with manual transmission.
Example sentences
  • The firmer suspension and sharper steering gives a ride that actually made me feel more a part of the car - something that I normally associate with manuals.
  • Both performed well although, as usual, the manual felt the most responsive while the kickdown on the auto lacked punch.
  • After I got the hang of the gearshift it was easier than a manual.
3An organ keyboard played with the hands not the feet.
Example sentences
  • The same format was often imitated at the organ, the pedal taking the bass and the manuals the treble lines.
  • The ostinato in the manuals is also regular, until it moves at the end of bar 27.
  • The BX - 3 has dual manuals with 61 keys each, full polyphony and a very natural feel.


Late Middle English: from Old French manuel, from (and later assimilated to) Latin manualis, from manus 'hand'.

  • manage from mid 16th century:

    Managers now manage businesses, but the first things to be managed were horses. The earliest sense of manage in English was ‘to handle or train a horse’, or put it through the exercises of the manège (mid 17th century). This French word, used in English to mean ‘an area in which horses and riders are trained’ and ‘horsemanship’, is at root the same word as manage—both go back through Italian to Latin manus ‘hand’, the source also of manacles (Middle English) which restrain your hands; manicure (late 19th century) care of your hands; manipulate (early 19th century) to handle something; manner; manoeuvre; manual (Late Middle English) either done with your hands or a handbook; and manuscript (late 16th century) something written by hand.

Words that rhyme with manual

annual, biannual, Emanuel, Emmanuel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: man¦ual

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