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From Early Modern English manage, menage, from Middle English *manage, *menage, from Old French manege (the handling or training of a horse, horsemanship, riding, maneuvers, proceedings), probably from Old Italian maneggiare (to handle, manage, touch, treat), from mano, from Latin manus (the hand); see manual.



manage (third-person singular simple present manages, present participle managing, simple past and past participle managed)

  1. (transitive) To direct or be in charge of.
  2. (transitive) To handle or control (a situation, job).
  3. (transitive) To handle with skill, wield (a tool, weapon etc.).
  4. (intransitive) To succeed at an attempt.
    He managed to climb the tower.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 7, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Old Applegate, in the stern, just set and looked at me, and Lord James, amidship, waved both arms and kept hollering for help. I took a couple of everlasting big strokes and managed to grab hold of the skiff's rail, close to the stern.
    • 2013 November 30, Paul Davis, “Letters: Say it as simply as possible”, in The Economist, volume 409, number 8864:
      Congratulations on managing to use the phrase “preponderant criterion” in a chart (“On your marks”, November 9th). Was this the work of a kakorrhaphiophobic journalist set a challenge by his colleagues, or simply an example of glossolalia?
  5. (transitive, intransitive) To achieve (something) without fuss, or without outside help.
    It's a tough job, but I'll manage.
    • 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field.
  6. To train (a horse) in the manège; to exercise in graceful or artful action.
  7. (obsolete) To treat with care; to husband.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  8. (obsolete) To bring about; to contrive.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)


  • (To handle with skill, wield): bewield

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


manage (uncountable)

  1. (now rare) The act of managing or controlling something.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.xii:
      the winged God himselfe / Came riding on a Lion rauenous, / Taught to obay the menage of that Elfe [...].
    • (Can we date this quote?) Francis Bacon
      Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions, embrace more than they can hold.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      the unlucky manage of this fatal brawl
  2. (horseriding) Manège.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Peacham
      You must draw the horse in his career with his manage, and turn, doing the corvetto and leaping.

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