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Man vs. Person: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
"Man" specifically refers to an adult male human, while "person" is a gender-neutral term used for any human being regardless of age or gender.
Man vs. Person

Key Differences

The word "man" is used to identify adult male humans, denoting a specific gender and age group. In contrast, "person" is a neutral term applicable to any human, irrespective of gender or age.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
"Man" often carries connotations related to traditional male attributes in various cultures. "Person", however, is a universal term, focusing on the individual's existence as a human rather than on gender characteristics.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
In many contexts, "man" is used to represent humankind historically, though this usage is becoming less common. "Person" is increasingly preferred for its inclusivity and neutrality.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
The term "man" can also imply certain societal roles or expectations traditionally associated with men. "Person" is devoid of such connotations, emphasizing the individual's humanity above all.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
In legal and formal contexts, "person" is the preferred term, as it includes all humans without discrimination. "Man" is more specific and may not be appropriate in contexts requiring inclusivity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Gender Specification

Specifically denotes a male.
Gender-neutral.
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Age Group

Refers to an adult.
Applies to any age.
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Cultural Connotations

Often associated with traditional male roles or traits.
Free from gender-based cultural connotations.
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Usage in Language

Historically used to represent humans in general.
Used to inclusively represent any human.
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Legal Implications

Less preferred in legal contexts due to specificity.
Widely used in legal contexts for its universality.
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Man and Person Definitions

Man

A human male regarded in terms of strength or bravery.
He was known as a man of courage.
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Person

A human being regarded as an individual.
Every person has the right to freedom.
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Man

Used to express familiarity or contempt.
Hey, man, that's not cool.
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Person

A character in a play or story.
The main person in the story was a hero.
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Man

An adult male human.
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Person

A human characterized by a certain quality.
She is a person of great intelligence.
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Man

A human regardless of sex or age; a person.
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Oct 19, 2023

Person

A human body.
There was not a person in sight.
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Man

A human or an adult male human belonging to a specific occupation, group, nationality, or other category. Often used in combination
A milkman.
A congressman.
A freeman.
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Person

Used in legal or formal contexts to refer to an individual.
The accused person was found innocent.
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Man

The human race; mankind
Man's quest for peace.
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Person

A living human. Often used in combination
Chairperson.
Salesperson. See Usage Note at chairman.
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Man

A male human endowed with qualities, such as strength, considered characteristic of manhood.
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Person

An individual of specified character
A person of importance.
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Man

A husband.
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Person

The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality; the self.
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Man

A male lover or sweetheart.
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Person

The living body of a human
Searched the prisoner's person.
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Man

Workers.
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Person

Physique and general appearance.
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Man

Enlisted personnel of the armed forces
Officers and men.
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Person

(Law) A human, corporation, organization, partnership, association, or other entity deemed or construed to be governed by a particular law.
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Man

A male representative, as of a country or company
Our man in Tokyo.
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Person

(Christianity) Any of the three separate individualities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as distinguished from the essence of the Godhead that unites them.
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Man

A male servant or subordinate.
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Person

Any of three groups of pronoun forms with corresponding verb inflections that distinguish the speaker (first person), the individual addressed (second person), and the individual or thing spoken of (third person).
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Man

(Informal) Used as a familiar form of address for a man
See here, my good man!.
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Person

Any of the different forms or inflections expressing these distinctions.
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Man

One who swore allegiance to a lord in the Middle Ages; a vassal.
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Person

A character or role, as in a play; a guise
"Well, in her person, I say I will not have you" (Shakespeare).
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Man

(Games) Any of the pieces used in a board game, such as chess or checkers.
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Person

An individual substance of a rational nature; usually a human being.
Each person is unique, both mentally and physically.
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Man

(Nautical) A ship. Often used in combination
A merchantman.
A man-of-war.
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Person

A character or part, as in a play; a specific kind or manifestation of individual character, whether in real life, or in literary or dramatic representation; an assumed character.
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Man

Often Man(Slang) A person or group felt to be in a position of power or authority. Used with the
"Their writing mainly concerns the street life—the pimp, the junky, the forces of drug addiction, exploitation at the hands of 'the man'" (Black World).
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Person

(Christianity) Any one of the three hypostases of the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit.
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Man

To supply with men, as for defense or service
Man a ship.
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Person

Any sentient or socially intelligent being.
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Man

To take stations at, as to defend or operate
Manned the guns.
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Person

(in a compound noun or noun phrase) Someone who likes or has an affinity for (a specified thing).
Jack's always been a dog person, but I prefer cats.
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Man

To fortify or brace
Manned himself for the battle ahead.
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Person

(in a compound noun or noun phrase) A human of unspecified gender (in terms usually constructed with man or woman).
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Man

Used as an expletive to indicate intense feeling
Man! That was close.
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Person

(in a compound noun or noun phrase) A worker in a specified function or specialty.
I was able to speak to a technical support person and get the problem solved.
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Man

An adult male human.
The show is especially popular with middle-aged men.
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Person

The physical body of a being seen as distinct from the mind, character, etc.
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Man

(collective) All human males collectively: mankind.
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Person

(law) Any individual or formal organization with standing before the courts.
At common law a corporation or a trust is legally a person.
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Man

A human, a person regardless of gender, usually an adult. See usage notes.
Every man for himself
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Person

The human genitalia; specifically, the penis.
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Man

(collective) All humans collectively: mankind, humankind, humanity. Sometimes capitalized as Man.
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Person

(grammar) A linguistic category used to distinguish between the speaker of an utterance and those to whom or about whom they are speaking. See grammatical person.
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Man

A member of the genus Homo, especially of the species Homo sapiens.
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Person

(biology) A shoot or bud of a plant; a polyp or zooid of the compound Hydrozoa, Anthozoa, etc.; also, an individual, in the narrowest sense, among the higher animals.
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Man

A male person, usually an adult; a (generally adult male) sentient being, whether human, supernatural, elf, alien, etc.
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Person

To represent as a person; to personify; to impersonate.
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Man

An adult male who has, to an eminent degree, qualities considered masculine, such as strength, integrity, and devotion to family; a mensch.
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Person

To man, to supply with staff or crew.
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Man

Manliness; the quality or state of being manly.
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Person

A character or part, as in a play; a specific kind or manifestation of individual character, whether in real life, or in literary or dramatic representation; an assumed character.
His first appearance upon the stage in his new person of a sycophant or juggler.
No man can long put on a person and act a part.
To bear rule, which was thy partAnd person, hadst thou known thyself aright.
How different is the same man from himself, as he sustains the person of a magistrate and that of a friend!
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Man

A husband.
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Person

The bodily form of a human being; body; outward appearance; as, of comely person.
A fair persone, and strong, and young of age.
If it assume my noble father's person.
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined.
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Man

A male lover; a boyfriend.
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Person

A living, self-conscious being, as distinct from an animal or a thing; a moral agent; a human being; a man, woman, or child.
Consider what person stands for; which, I think, is a thinking, intelligent being, that has reason and reflection.
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Man

A male enthusiast or devotee; a male who is very fond of or devoted to a specified kind of thing. Used as the last element of a compound.
Some people prefer apple pie, but me, I’m a cherry pie man.
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Person

A human being spoken of indefinitely; one; a man; as, any person present.
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Man

A person, usually male, who has duties or skills associated with a specified thing. Used as the last element of a compound.
I wanted to be a guitar man on a road tour, but instead I’m a flag man on a road crew.
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Person

A parson; the parish priest.
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Man

A person, usually male, who can fulfill one's requirements with regard to a specified matter.
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Person

Among Trinitarians, one of the three subdivisions of the Godhead (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost); an hypostasis.
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Oct 19, 2023

Man

A male who belongs to a particular group: an employee, a student or alumnus, a representative, etc.
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Person

One of three relations or conditions (that of speaking, that of being spoken to, and that of being spoken of) pertaining to a noun or a pronoun, and thence also to the verb of which it may be the subject.
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Man

An adult male servant.
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Person

A shoot or bud of a plant; a polyp or zooid of the compound Hydrozoa Anthozoa, etc.; also, an individual, in the narrowest sense, among the higher animals.
True corms, composed of united personæ . . . usually arise by gemmation, . . . yet in sponges and corals occasionally by fusion of several originally distinct persons.
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Man

(historical) A vassal; a subject.
All the king's men
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Person

To represent as a person; to personify; to impersonate.
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Man

A piece or token used in board games such as chess.
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Person

A human being;
There was too much for one person to do
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Man

(sports) A player on whom another is playing, with the intent of limiting their attacking impact.
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Person

A person's body (usually including their clothing);
A weapon was hidden on his person
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Man

: I, we; construed in the third person.
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Person

A grammatical category of pronouns and verb forms;
Stop talking about yourself in the third person
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Man

Any person, one
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Man

(transitive) To supply (something) with staff or crew (of either sex).
The ship was manned with a small crew.
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Man

(transitive) To take up position in order to operate (something).
Man the machine guns!
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Man

To brace (oneself), to fortify or steel (oneself) in a manly way. Compare man up.
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Man

To wait on, attend to or escort.
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Man

To accustom (a raptor or other type of bird) to the presence of people.
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Man

A human being; - opposed to beast.
These men went about wide, and man found they none,But fair country, and wild beast many [a] one.
The king is but a man, as I am; the violet smells to him as it doth to me.
'Tain't a fit night out for man nor beast!
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Man

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

The human race; mankind.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion.
The proper study of mankind is man.
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Man

The male portion of the human race.
Woman has, in general, much stronger propensity than man to the discharge of parental duties.
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Man

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 elementsSo mixed in him that Nature might stand upAnd say to all the world "This was a man!"
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Man

An adult male servant; also, a vassal; a subject.
Like master, like man.
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.
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Man

A term of familiar address at one time implying on the part of the speaker some degree of authority, impatience, or haste; as, Come, man, we 've no time to lose! In the latter half of the 20th century it became used in a broader sense as simply a familiar and informal form of address, but is not used in business or formal situations; as, hey, man! You want to go to a movie tonight?.
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Oct 19, 2023

Man

A married man; a husband; - correlative to wife.
I pronounce that they are man and wife.
Every wife ought to answer for her man.
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Man

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.
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.
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Man

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

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 !
They man their boats, and all their young men arm.
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Man

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

To tame, as a hawk.
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Man

To furnish with a servant or servants.
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Man

To wait on as a manservant.
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Man

An adult male person (as opposed to a woman);
There were two women and six men on the bus
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Man

Someone who serves in the armed forces; a member of a military force;
Two men stood sentry duty
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Man

The generic use of the word to refer to any human being;
It was every man for himself
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Man

All of the inhabitants of the earth;
All the world loves a lover
She always used `humankind' because `mankind' seemed to slight the women
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Man

Any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae
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Man

A male subordinate;
The chief stationed two men outside the building
He awaited word from his man in Havana
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Man

An adult male person who has a manly character (virile and courageous competent);
The army will make a man of you
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Man

A male person who plays a significant role (husband or lover or boyfriend) in the life of a particular woman;
She takes good care of her man
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Man

A manservant who acts as a personal attendant to his employer;
Jeeves was Bertie Wooster's man
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Man

One of the British Isles in the Irish Sea
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Man

Game equipment consisting of an object used in playing certain board games;
He taught me to set up the men on the chess board
He sacrificed a piece to get a strategic advantage
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Man

Take charge of a certain job; occupy a certain work place;
Mr. Smith manned the reception desk in the morning
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Man

Provide with men;
We cannot man all the desks
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Man

A male member of a workforce or team.
He was the best man for the job.
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Man

A male with certain qualities.
He was a man of his word.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is "man" always gender-specific?

Yes, it specifically refers to an adult male.
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Nov 28, 2023

Can "person" refer to both males and females?

Yes, it's gender-neutral.
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Nov 28, 2023

Can "person" apply to children?

Yes, it applies to individuals of any age.
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Does "man" imply certain societal roles?

Often, it carries traditional male role connotations.
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Can "man" be used to represent humanity?

Historically yes, but less so now.
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Nov 28, 2023

Is "man" suitable in gender-diverse contexts?

No, "person" is more suitable.
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Is "man" appropriate for legal documents?

No, "person" is preferred for its neutrality.
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Is "person" inclusive in terms of gender?

Yes, it includes all genders.
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Is "person" a legal term?

Yes, widely used in legal language.
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Nov 28, 2023

Does "man" have different meanings?

Yes, it can imply adulthood, masculinity, etc.
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Can "person" refer to an unidentified individual?

Yes, it's often used in that sense.
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Does "person" imply any cultural bias?

No, it's culturally neutral.
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Does "person" carry age connotations?

No, it's age-neutral.
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Does "person" imply any specific characteristics?

No, it's a neutral term.
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Are there synonyms for "man"?

Yes, like male, gentleman, etc.
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Is "man" acceptable in academic writing?

It depends on the context and subject.
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Nov 28, 2023

Is "person" suitable in all writing styles?

Yes, it's versatile and neutral.
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Can "man" be seen as non-inclusive?

Yes, in contexts requiring gender neutrality.
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Nov 28, 2023

Can "man" be used in a gender-specific study?

Yes, when specifically discussing males.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can "person" be plural?

Yes, as "people" or "persons".
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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