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From Middle English mankinde, mankende, mankunde, mankuinde, alteration (due to kinde, kunde (kind, nature, sort)) of earlier mankin, mankun, mancun (mankind), from Old English mancynn; equivalent to man +‎ kin, and/or man +‎ -kind. Cognate with Scots mankind, Middle High German mankünne, Danish mandkøn, Icelandic mannkyn (mankind). See also mankin.


  • IPA(key): /mænˈkaɪnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪnd


mankind (uncountable)

  1. The human race in its entirety.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
      The examples of all ages shew us that mankind in general desire power only to do harm, and, when they obtain it, use it for no other purpose.
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 2, in Internal Combustion:
      More than a mere source of Promethean sustenance to thwart the cold and cook one's meat, wood was quite simply mankind's first industrial and manufacturing fuel.
    • 2011, David Charles Cole, Understanding God's Message for Mankind: Essential Scripture and Commentary[1], page 1:
      It next moves through the history of the Jewish people, recounting the life and death of our Lord and Savior, and ends with the Book of Revelation foretelling the inevitable climax of God's plan for mankind.
  2. Men collectively, as opposed to all women.
    "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." — Book of Leviticus 18:22, King James Version
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 0029:
      “[...] it is not fair of you to bring against mankind double weapons ! Dangerous enough you are as woman alone, without bringing to your aid those gifts of mind suited to problems which men have been accustomed to arrogate to themselves.”
  3. (obsolete) Human feelings; humanity.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)

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