a. Of or relating to the hands: manual skill.
b. Done by, used by, or operated with the hands.
c. Employing human rather than mechanical energy: manual labor.
2. Of, relating to, or resembling a small reference book.
1. A small reference book, especially one giving instructions.
2. Music A keyboard, as of an organ or harpsichord, played with the hands.
3. A machine operated by hand.
a. A manual transmission.
b. A vehicle having a manual transmission.
5. Prescribed movements in the handling of a weapon, especially a rifle: the manual of arms.
6. A maneuver in certain board sports, such as skateboarding, in which all of the board except one end is lifted off the ground, especially when the tip of the board is kept from making contact with the ground.
[Middle English, from Old French manuel, from Latin manuālis, from manus, hand; see MANUS.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.