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A man is a male human. The term man (irregular plural: men) is used for an adult human male, while the term boy is the usual term for a human male child or adolescent human male. However, man is sometimes used to refer to all male humans, collectively, or to humanity as a whole.


  • Non è un si bello in tante altre persone,
    Natura il fece, e poi roppa la stampa.
    • There never was such beauty in another man.
      Nature made him, and then broke the mould.
    • Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (1516), Canto X, Stanza 84. L'on peut dire sans hyperbole, que la nature, que la après l'avoir fait en cassa la moule, Angelo Constantini, La Vie de Scaramouche, line 107. (Ed. 1690).
  • Let each man think himself an act of God.
    His mind a thought, his life a breath of God.
  • The precious porcelain of human clay.
  • No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.
  • So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems,
    To span Omnipotence, and measure might
    That knows no measure, by the scanty rule
    And standard of his own, that is to-day,
    And is not ere to-morrow's sun go down.
  • No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
    • John Donne (1572–1631) Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XII (1624).
  • His tribe were God Almighty's gentlemen.
    • John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Part I, line 645.
  • We are coming we, the young men,
    Strong of heart and millions strong;
    We shall work where you have trifled,
    Cleanse the temple, right the wrong,
    Till the land our fathers visioned
    Shall be spread before our ken,
    We are through with politicians;
    Give us Men! Give us Men!
  • Man is a make believe animal—he is never so truly himself as when he is acting a part.
    • William Hazlitt (1778-1830). Notes of a Journey through France and Italy (1826).
  • But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
  • Where soil is, men grow,
    Whether to weeds or flowers.
  • A man of mark.
    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863-1874), Part I. The Musician's Tale. Saga of King Olaf, Part IX, Stanza 2.
  • In a museum in London there is an exhibit called "The Value of Man": a long coffinlike box with lots of compartments where they've put starch—phosphorus—flour—bottles of water and alcohol—and big pieces of gelatin. I am a man like that.
    • Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), French symbolist poet and critic. Letter dated 17th May 1867.
  • But in our Sanazarro 'tis not so,
    He being pure and tried gold; and any stamp
    Of grace, to make him current to the world,
    The duke is pleased to give him, will add honour
    To the great bestower; for he, though allow'd
    Companion to his master, still preserves
    His majesty in full lustre.
  • T'is but a Tent where takes his one day's rest
    A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest.
  • So man, who here seems principal alone,
    Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown
    Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;
    'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
  • Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
    The proper study of mankind is man.
    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle II, line 1. In Pope's first ed. of Moral Essays it read "The only science of mankind is man." For the last phrase see Grote, History of Greece, Volume IX, p. 573. Ascribed to Socrates; also to Xenophon, Memor., I, 1.
  • Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
    Still by himself abused and disabused;
    Created half to rise, and half to fall;
    Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
    Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled;
    The glory, jest and riddle of the world!
  • Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
    Few in the extreme, but all in the degree.
  • An honest man's the noblest work of God.
  • He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not look upon his like again.
  • What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And, yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling, you seem to say so.
  • I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
  • Give me that man
    That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
    In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart
    As I do thee.
  • What is a man,
    If his chief good and market of his time
    Be but to sleep and feed?
  • This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
    The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,
    And bears his blushing honours thick upon him:
    The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
    And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
    His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
    And then he falls, as I do.
  • Men at some time are masters of their fates:
    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
  • His life was gentle, and the elements
    So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up,
    And say to all the world, This was a man!
  • Nietzsche … he was a confirmed Life Force worshipper. It was he who raked up the Superman, who is as old as Prometheus; and the 20th century will run after this newest of the old crazes when it gets tired of the world, the flesh, and your humble servant.
  • Man is of soul and body, formed for deeds
    Of high resolve; on fancy's boldest wing.
  • But man is above all a social and political animal; his relations with his fellow human beings form his most absorbing and important interest.
  • Man's wretched state,
    That floures so fresh at morne, and fades at evening late.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book III, Canto IX, Stanza 39.
  • A man's body and his mind, with the utmost reverence to both I speak it, are exactly like a jerkin and a jerkin's lining;—rumple the one,—you rumple the other.
    • Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760-1767), Book III, Chapter IV.
  • I am a part of all that I have met.
  • Ah God, for a man with heart, head, hand,
    Like some of the simple great gone
    Forever and ever by,
    One still strong man in a blatant land,
    Whatever they call him, what care I,
    Aristocrat, democrat, autocrat—one
    Who can rule and dare not lie.
  • A man is made by the quality of his enemies.
  • How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
    How complicate, how wonderful, is man!
    How passing wonder He, who made him such!
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night I, line 68.
  • Ah! how unjust to nature, and himself,
    Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 112.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 487-93.
  • The man forget not, though in rags he lies,
    And know the mortal through a crown's disguise.
  • Man only,—rash, refined, presumptuous Man—
    Starts from his rank, and mars Creation's plan!
    Born the free heir of nature's wide domain,
    To art's strict limits bounds his narrow'd reign;
    Resigns his native rights for meaner things,
    For Faith and Fetters, Laws and Priests and Kings.
    • Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, The Progress of Man, line 55.
  • Ye children of man! whose life is a span
    Protracted with sorrow from day to day,
    Naked and featherless, feeble and querulous,
    Sickly, calamitous creatures of clay.
  • Man is the nobler growth our realms supply
    And souls are ripened in our northern sky.
  • All sorts and conditions of men.
    • Book of Common Prayer. Prayer for all Conditions of Men.
  • Man is a noble animal, splendid in ashes and pompous in the grave.
  • A man's a man for a' that!
  • A prince can mak a belted knight,
    A marquis, duke, and a' that;
    But an honest man's aboon his might:
    Guid faith, he maunna fa' that.
  • The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
    The man's the gowd for a' that.
  • Man,—whose heaven-erected face
    The smiles of love adorn,—
    Man's inhumanity to man
    Makes countless thousands mourn!
  • Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
    And all, save the spirit of man, is divine?
  • Lord of himself;—that heritage of woe!
    • Lord Byron, Lara, A Tale (1814), Canto I, Stanza 2.
  • But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
    Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
    To sink or soar.
  • Sighing that Nature formed but one such man,
    And broke the die—in moulding Sheridan.
    • Lord Byron, Monody on the Death of the Rt. Hon. R. B. Sheridan, line 117.
  • And say without our hopes, without our fears,
    Without the home that plighted love endears,
    Without the smile from partial beauty won,
    Oh! what were man?—a world without a sun.
  • To lead, or brass, or some such bad
    Metal, a prince's stamp may add
    That value, which it never had.
    But to the pure refined ore,
    The stamp of kings imparts no more
    Worth, than the metal held before.
  • Charms and a man I sing, to wit—a most superior person,
    Myself, who bear the fitting name of George Nathaniel Curzon.
    • Charma Virumque Cano. Pub. in Poetry of the Crabbet Club, 1892, p. 36.
  • La vraie science et le vrai étude de l'homme c'est l'homme.
    • The proper Science and Subject for Man's Contemplation is Man himself.
    • Pierre Charron, Of Wisdom, Book I, Chapter I. Stanhope's translation.
  • Men the most infamous are fond of fame:
    And those who fear not guilt, yet start at shame.
  • I am made all things to all men.
    • I Corinthians, IX. 22.
  • The first man is of the earth, earthy.
    • I Corinthians, XV. 47.
  • An honest man, close-buttoned to the chin,
    Broadcloth without, and a warm heart within.
  • But strive still to be a man before your mother.
  • A sacred spark created by his breath,
    The immortal mind of man his image bears;
    A spirit living 'midst the forms of death,
    Oppressed, but not subdued, by mortal cares.
    • Sir H. Davy, Written After Recovery from a Dangerous Illness.
  • Men are but children of a larger growth,
    Our appetites as apt to change as theirs,
    And full of cravings too, and full as vain.
  • This is the porcelain clay of humankind.
  • How dull, and how insensible a beast
    Is man, who yet would lord it o'er the rest.
    • John Dryden, Essay on Satire, line 1. Written by Dryden and the Earl of Mulgrave.
  • There is no Theam more plentiful to scan,
    Then is the glorious goodly Frame of Man.
  • Men's men: gentle or simple, they're much of a muchness.
  • A man is the whole encyclopedia of facts. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man.
  • Man is his own star, and the soul that can
    Render an honest and a perfect man,
    Commands all light.
  • Aye, think! since time and life began,
    Your mind has only feared and slept;
    Of all the beasts they called you man
    Only because you toiled and wept.
  • Die Menschen fürchtet nur, wer sie nicht kennt
    Und wer sie meidet, wird sie bald verkennen.
    • He only fears men who does not know them, and he who avoids them will soon misjudge them.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Torquato Tasso. I. 2. 72.
  • Lass uns, geliebter Bruder, nicht vergessen,
    Dass von sich selbst der Mensch nicht scheiden kann.
    • Beloved brother, let us not forget that man can never get away from himself.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Torquato Tasso. I. 2. 85.
  • A king may spille, a king may save;
    A king may make of lorde a knave;
    And of a knave a lorde also.
    • John Gower, Confessio Amantis, Book VII. I. 1,895.
  • What though the spicy breezes
    Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle;
    Though every prospect pleases,
    And only man is vile.
  • Man is all symmetrie,
    Full of proportions, one limbe to another,
    And all to all the world besides:
    Each part may call the farthest, brother:
    For head with foot hath privite amitie,
    And both with moons and tides.
  • Man is one world, and hath
    Another to attend him.
  • God give us men. A time like this demands
    Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands!
    Men whom the lust of office does not kill,
    Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy,
    Men who possess opinions and a will,
    Men who love honor, men who cannot lie.
  • Like leaves on trees the race of man is found,—
    Now green in youth, now withering on the ground;
    Another race the following spring supplies;
    They fall successive; and successive rise.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book VI, line 181. Pope's translation.
  • Forget the brother and resume the man.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book IV, line 732. Pope's translation.
  • The fool of fate, thy manufacture, man.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book XX, line 254. Pope's translation.
  • Pulvis et umbra sumus.
    • We are dust and shadow.
    • Horace, Carmina, Book IV. 7, line 16.
  • Metiri se quemque suo modulo ac pede verum est.
    • Every man should measure himself by his own standard.
    • Horace, Epistles, I. 7. 98.
  • Ad unguem factus homo.
    • A man polished to the nail.
    • Horace, Satires, I. 5. 32.
  • Man dwells apart, though not alone,
    He walks among his peers unread;
    The best of thoughts which he hath known
    For lack of listeners are not said.
  • Man passes away; his name perishes from record and recollection; his history is as a tale that is told, and his very monument becomes a ruin.
  • Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils.
    • Isaiah, II. 22.
  • The only competition worthy a wise man is with himself.
  • Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
    • Job, XIV. 1.
  • Though I've belted you and flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
  • If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    * * * * * *
    Yours is the Earth and every thing that's in it,
    And—which is more—you'll be a man, my son!
  • Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires, man is a fallen god who remembers the heavens.
  • Il est plus aisé de connaître l'homme en général que de connaître un homme en particulier.
  • As man; false man, smiling destructive man.
  • Before man made us citizens, great Nature made us men.
  • A man! A man! My kingdom for a man!
  • Hominem pagina nostra sapit.
    • Our page (i.e. our book) has reference to man.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book X. 4. 10.
  • Ah! pour être devot, je n'en suis pas moins homme.
    • Ah! to be devout, I am none the less human.
    • Molière, Tartuffe, III. 3.
  • I teach you beyond Man [Uebermensch; overman-superman]. Man is something that shall be surpassed. What have you done to surpass him?
  • Os homini sublime dedit cœlumque tueri
    Jussit; et erectos ad sidera tollere vultus.
    • God gave man an upright countenance to survey the heavens, and to look upward to the stars.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, I. 85.
  • What a chimera, then, is man! what a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! A judge of all things, feeble worm of the earth, depositary of the truth, cloaca of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe!
  • Nos non pluris sumus quam bullæ.
    • We are not more than a bubble.
    • Petronius. 42.
  • Piper, non homo.
  • Hominem quæro.
    • I am in search of a man.
    • Phaedrus, Fables, Book III. 19. 9.
  • Man is the plumeless genus of bipeds, birds are the plumed.
    • Plato, Politicus, 266. Diogenes produced a plucked cock, saying, "Here is Plato's man." Diogenes Laertius, Book VI. 2.
  • Homo homini lupus.
    • Man is a wolf to man.
    • Plautus, Asinaria, II. 4. 88.
  • A minister, but still a man.
  • No more was seen the human form divine.
  • So, if unprejudiced you scan
    The going of this clock-work, man,
    You find a hundred movements made
    By fine devices in his head;
    But 'tis the stomach's solid stroke
    That tells his being what's o'clock.
  • Man is the measure of all things.
    • Protagoras, quoted as his philosophical principle.
  • Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels.
    • Psalms, VIII. 5.
  • Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright.
    • Psalms, XXXVII. 37.
  • Man is man's A, B, C. There's none that can
    Read God aright, unless he first spell man.
  • Quit yourselves like men.
    • I Samuel, IV. 9.
  • A man after his own heart.
    • I Samuel, XIII. 14.
  • Thou art the man.
    • II Samuel, XII. 7.
  • Der Mensch ist, der lebendig fühlende,
    Der leichte Raub des mächt'gen Augenblicks.
    • Man, living, feeling man is the easy prey of the powerful present.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Die Jungfrau von Orleans, III. 4. 54.
  • "How poor a thing is man!" alas 'tis true,
    I'd half forgot it when I chanced on you.
  • Of the king's creation you may be; but he who makes a count, ne'er made a man.
  • Give us a man of God's own mould
    Born to marshall his fellow-men;
    One whose fame is not bought and sold
    At the stroke of a politician's pen.
    Give us the man of thousands ten,
    Fit to do as well as to plan;
    Give us a rallying-cry, and then
    Abraham Lincoln, give us a Man.
  • Titles of honour are like the impressions on coin—which add no value to gold and silver, but only render brass current.
  • When I beheld this I sighed, and said within myself, Surely man is a Broomstick!
  • Homo vitæ commodatus, non donatus est.
    • Man has been lent, not given, to life.
    • Syrus, Maxims.
  • Man is man, and master of his fate.
  • Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
    • I am a man, nothing that is human do I think unbecoming in me.
    • Terence, Heauton timoroumenos, Act I, scene 1. F. W. Ricord's translation.
  • Der edle Mensch ist nur ein Bild von Gott.
    • The noble man is only God's image.
    • Ludwig Tieck, Genoveva.
  • Quod, ut dictur, si est homo bulla, eo magis senex.
    • What, if as said, man is a bubble.
    • Marcus Terentius Varro, preface to De Re Rustica. Found also in Seneca—Apocolocyntosis. Lucan—Charron. 19. Cardinal Armellini's Epitaph in Revue des Deux Mondes, April 15, 1892. Erasmus—Adagia.
  • Silver is the king's stamp; man God's stamp, and a woman is man's stamp; we are not current till we pass from one man to another.
  • I am an acme of things accomplished, and I am encloser of things to be.
  • I weigh the man, not his title: 'tis not the king's inscription can make the metal better or heavier.
    • William Wycherley, The Plain Dealer (1677), Act I, scene 1. (Altered by Bickerstaff.)

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • The older I grow — and I now stand upon the brink of eternity — the more comes back to me that sentence in the Catechism which I learned when a child, and the fuller and deeper its meaning becomes, "What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
  • In that vast march, the van forgets the rear; the individual is lost; and yet the multitude is many individuals. He faints and falls and dies; man is forgotten; but still mankind move on, still worlds revolve, and the will of God is done in earth and heaven.
  • Man is the crowning of history and the realization of poetry, the free and living bond which unites all nature to that God who created it for Himself.
  • Let us not undervalue the dignity of human nature. Man. although fallen, still retains some traces of his primeval glory and excellence — broken columns of a celestial temple, magnificent, even in its ruins.
  • Man has wants deeper than can be supplied by wealth or nature or domestic affections. His great relations are to his God and to eternity.
  • But if, indeed, there be a nobler life in us than in these strangely moving atoms; if, indeed, there is an eternal difference between the fire which inhabits them, and that which animates us,— it must be shown, by each of us in his appointed place, not merely in the patience, but in the activity of our hope, not merely by our desire, but our labor, for the time when the dust of the generations of men shall be confirmed for foun: dations of the gates of the city of God.
  • The Divine government of the world is like a stream that rolls under us; men are only as bubbles that rise on its surface; some are brighter and larger, and sparkle longer in the sun than others; but all must break; whilst the mighty current rolls on in its wonted majesty!

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