- mammal (n.)
- 1826, Englished form of Modern Latin Mammalia (1773), coined 1758 by Linnaeus for the class of mammals, from neuter plural of Late Latin mammalis "of the breast," from Latin mamma "breast," perhaps cognate with mamma.
- Mammalia (n.)
- 1773, from Modern Latin (Linnaeus), from neuter plural of Late Latin mammalis, from mamma (see mammal).
- mammalian (adj.)
- 1813, from mammal + -ian. As a noun, from 1835.
- mammary (adj.)
- 1680s, from French mammaire (18c.), from Latin mamma "breast," probably from the child's word for "mother" (see mamma).
- word-forming element meaning "breast," from Latin mamma "breast" (see mammal).
- mammogram (n.)
- 1937, from mammo- + -gram.
- mammography (n.)
- 1937, from mammo- + -graphy.
- Mammon (n.)
- "personification of wealth," mid-14c., from Late Latin mammona, from Greek mamonas, from Aramaic mamona, mamon "riches, gain;" left untranslated in Greek New Testament (e.g. Matt. vi:24, Luke xvi:9-13) retained in the Vulgate, and regarded mistakenly by medieval Christians as the name of a demon.
- mammoth (n.)
- 1706, from Russian mammot', probably from Ostyak, a Finno-Ugric language of northern Russia (compare Finnish maa "earth"). Because the remains were dug from the earth, the animal was believed to root like a mole. As an adjective, "gigantic," from 1802; in this sense "the word appears to be originally American" [Thornton, "American Glossary"], and its first uses are in derogatory accounts of the cheese wheel, more than 4 feet in diameter, sent to President Jefferson by the ladies of the Baptist congregation in Cheshire, Massachusetts, as a present, engraved with the motto "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." Federalist editors mocked the affair, and called up the word mammoth (known from Peale's exhibition) to characterize it.
- mammy (n.)
- 1520s, diminutive of mam (see mamma). Meaning "black woman having the care of white children" is by 1837, Southern U.S. dialect, variant of mamma.
- mamzer (n.)
- "bastard," 1560s, from Late Latin mamzer, from Hebrew mamzer, left untranslated in Deut. xxiii:2 in the Vulgate.
- man (n.)
- Old English man, mann "human being, person (male or female); brave man, hero; servant, vassal," from Proto-Germanic *manwaz (source also of Old Saxon, Swedish, Dutch, Old High German man, German Mann, Old Norse maðr, Danish mand, Gothic manna "man"), from PIE root *man- (1) "man" (source also of Sanskrit manuh, Avestan manu-, Old Church Slavonic mozi, Russian muzh "man, male").
Plural men (German Männer) shows effects of i-mutation. Sometimes connected to root *men- "to think" (see mind), which would make the ground sense of man "one who has intelligence," but not all linguists accept this. Liberman, for instance, writes, "Most probably man 'human being' is a secularized divine name" from Mannus [Tacitus, "Germania," chap. 2], "believed to be the progenitor of the human race."
So I am as he that seythe, `Come hyddr John, my man.' 
Sense of "adult male" is late (c. 1000); Old English used wer and wif to distinguish the sexes, but wer began to disappear late 13c. and was replaced by man. Universal sense of the word remains in mankind and manslaughter. Similarly, Latin had homo "human being" and vir "adult male human being," but they merged in Vulgar Latin, with homo extended to both senses. A like evolution took place in Slavic languages, and in some of them the word has narrowed to mean "husband." PIE had two stems: *uiHro "freeman" (source of Sanskrit vira-, Lithuanian vyras, Latin vir, Old Irish fer, Gothic wair) and *hner "man," a title more of honor than *uiHro (source of Sanskrit nar-, Armenian ayr, Welsh ner, Greek aner).
MANTRAP, a woman's commodity. [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," London, 1785]
Man also was in Old English as an indefinite pronoun, "one, people, they." The chess pieces so called from c. 1400. As an interjection of surprise or emphasis, first recorded c. 1400, but especially popular from early 20c. Man-about-town is from 1734; the Man "the boss" is from 1918. To be man or mouse "be brave or be timid" is from 1540s. Men's Liberation first attested 1970.
At the kinges court, my brother, Ech man for himself. [Chaucer, "Knight's Tale," c. 1386]
- man (v.)
- Old English mannian "to furnish (a fort, ship, etc.) with a company of men," from man (n.). Meaning "to take up a designated position on a ship" is first recorded 1690s. Meaning "behave like a man, act with courage" is from c. 1400. To man (something) out is from 1660s. Related: Manned; manning.
- man-eater (n.)
- also maneater, c. 1600, "cannibal," from man (n.) + eater. From 1837 in reference to animals (sharks); 1862 of tigers; 1906 of women. Related: Man-eating.
- man-hater (n.)
- "misanthrope," 1570s, from man (n.) + hater. Old English had mannhata "man-hater."
- man-like (adj.)
- also manlike, mid-15c., from man (n.) + like (adj.).
- man-of-war (n.)
- late 14c., "a soldier;" see man (n.) + war (n.). Meaning "vessel equipped for warfare" is from late 15c. Man in the sense of "a ship" is attested from late 15c. in combinations (such as merchantman). The sea creature known as the Portuguese man-of-war (1707) is so called for its sail-like crest. The great U.S. thoroughbred race horse was Man o' War (1917-1947).
- mana (n.)
- "power, authority, supernatural power," 1843, from Maori, "power, authority, supernatural power."
- manacle (n.)
- mid-14c., "a fetter for the hand," from Old French manicle "manacles, handcuffs; bracelet; armor for the hands," from Latin manicula "handle," literally "little hand," diminutive of manicae "long sleeves of a tunic, gloves; armlets, gauntlets; handcuffs, manacles," from manus "hand" (see manual (adj.)). Related: Manacles.
In every cry of every man,
In every infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear
[Blake, "Songs of Experience"]
- manacle (v.)
- c. 1300, "to fetter with manacles," from manacle (n.). Related: Manacled; manacling.
- manage (v.)
- 1560s, probably from Italian maneggiare "to handle," especially "to control a horse," ultimately from Latin noun manus "hand" (see manual (adj.)). Influenced by French manège "horsemanship" (earliest English sense was of handling horses), which also was from Italian. Extended to other objects or business from 1570s. Slang sense of "get by" first recorded 1650s. Related: Managed; managing. Managed economy was used by 1933.
- manageability (n.)
- 1813, from manageable + -ity.
- manageable (adj.)
- 1590s, from manage + -able. Related: Manageably.
- management (n.)
- 1590s, "act of managing," from manage + -ment. Meaning "governing body" (originally of a theater) is from 1739.
- manager (n.)
- 1580s, "one who manages," agent noun from manage. Specific sense of "one who conducts a house of business or public institution" is from 1705.
- managerial (adj.)
- 1767, see manager + -al (1).
- managery (n.)
- "domestic administration" (obsolete), 1630s, from manager + -y (4); or perhaps from manage + -ery.
- from Spanish mañana, "tomorrow," from cras manñana, literally "tomorrow early," from Vulgar Latin *maneana "early," from Latin mane "in the morning," from PIE *ma- "good," with notion of "occurring at a good time, timely, early" (compare matins; and see mature (v.)).
- manatee (n.)
- 1550s, from Spanish manati (1530s), from Carib manati "breast, udder." Often associated with Latin manatus "having hands," because the flippers resemble hands.
- Mameceastre (1086), from Mamucio (4c.), the original Celtic name, perhaps from *mamm "breast, breast-like hill" + Old English ceaster "Roman town" (see Chester). Adjective Mancunian is from the Medieval Latin form of the place-name, Mancunium.
- manchild (n.)
- also man-child, "male child, male infant," c. 1400, from man (n.) + child.
- 1650s, member of Tungusic race of Manchuria which conquered China in 1644 and remained its ruling class until the Revolution of 1912. From Manchu, literally "pure," name of the tribe descended from the Nu-chen Tartars.
- named for the Manchu (literally "pure") people + -ia. Related: Manchurian. Manchurian Candidate is 1959 as a novel, 1962 as a film.
- mancinism (n.)
- "left-handedness," 1890, from Italian mancinissmo, from mancino "infirm (in the hand)," from manco, from Latin mancus "maimed, infirm, crippled, lame-handed" (see manque).
- manciple (n.)
- "officer or servant who purchases provisions for a college, monastery, etc.," early 13c., from Old French mancipe "servant, official, manciple," from Latin mancipium "servant, slave, slave obtained by legal transfer; the legal purchase of a thing," literally "a taking in hand," from manus "hand" (see manual (adj.)) + root of capere "to take" (see capable).
- mandala (n.)
- magic circle, 1859, from Sanskrit mandala "disc, circle."
- mandamus (n.)
- 1530s, "writ from a superior court to an inferior one, specifying that something be done," (late 14c. in Anglo-French), from Latin, literally "we order," first person plural present indicative of mandare "to order" (see mandate (n.)).
- mandarin (n.)
- "Chinese official," 1580s, via Portuguese mandarim or older Dutch mandorijn from Malay mantri, from Hindi mantri "councilor, minister of state," from Sanskrit mantri, nominative of mantrin- "advisor," from mantra "counsel," from PIE root *men- "to think" (see mind (n.)).
Form influenced in Portuguese by mandar "to command, order." Used generically for the several grades of Chinese officials; sense of "chief dialect of Chinese" (spoken by officials and educated people) is from c. 1600. Transferred sense of "important person" attested by 1907. The type of small, deep-colored orange so called from 1771, from resemblance of its color to that of robes worn by mandarins.
- mandatary (n.)
- "person to whom a mandate has been given," 1610s, from Latin mandatarius "one to whom a charge or commission has been given," from mandatus, past participle of mandare (see mandate (n.)).
- mandate (n.)
- "judicial or legal order," c. 1500, from Middle French mandat (15c.) and directly from Latin mandatum "commission, command, order," noun use of neuter past participle of mandare "to order, commit to one's charge," literally "to give into one's hand," probably from manus "hand" (see manual) + dare "to give" (see date (n.1)). Political sense of "approval supposedly conferred by voters to the policies or slogans advocated by winners of an election" is from 1796. League of Nations sense is from 1919.
- mandate (v.)
- 1620s, "to command," from mandate (n.). Meaning "to delegate authority, permit to act on behalf of a group" is from 1958; used earlier in the context of the League of Nations, "to authorize a power to control a certain territory for some specified purpose" (1919). Related: Mandated; mandating.
- mandatory (adj.)
- 1570s, "of the nature of a mandate," from Late Latin mandatorius "pertaining to a mandator," from Latin mandatus, past participle of mandare (see mandate (n.)). Sense of "obligatory because commanded" is from 1818.
- mandible (n.)
- late 14c., "jaw, jawbone," from Middle French mandible and directly from Late Latin mandibula "jaw," from Latin mandere "to chew," from PIE root *mendh- "to chew" (source also of Greek mastax "the mouth, that with which one chews; morsel, that which is chewed," masasthai "to chew," mastikhan "to gnash the teeth"). Of insect mouth parts from 1826.
- mandibular (adj.)
- 1650s, from Latin mandibula (see mandible) + -ar.
- people of the upper Niger region of West Africa, 1620s.
- mandolin (n.)
- 1707, from French mandoline, from Italian mandolino, diminutive of mandola, a larger kind of mandolin, altered from Late Latin pandura "three-stringed lute," from Greek pandoura, which is of unknown origin.
- mandragora (n.)
- see mandrake.
- mandrake (n.)
- narcotic plant, early 14c., mondrake, from Medieval Latin mandragora, from Latin mandragoras, from Greek mandragoras, probably from a non-Indo-European word. The word was in late Old English in its Latin form; folk etymology associated the second element with dragoun and substituted native drake in its place. The forked root is thought to resemble a human body and is said to shriek when pulled from the ground.
- mandrel (n.)
- "miner's pick," 1510s, of unknown origin; perhaps borrowed from French mandrin, itself of unknown origin. Also applied from 17c. to parts of a lathe or a circular saw.
- mandrill (n.)
- "large baboon," 1744, perhaps ultimately from an African language, but formed into English components man + drill (n.4) "baboon," which is of W.African origin. The earliest reference reports the name is what the animal was "called by the white men in this country" (Sierra Leone). French mandrill, Spanish mandril seem to be from English.