Meaning of “manual” in the English Dictionary

"manual" in British English

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manualadjective

uk /ˈmæn.ju.əl/ us /ˈmæn.ju.əl/

B2 done with the hands:

the manual sorting of letters
She tried to cure the pain in my knee by putting manual pressure on the joint.

A manual machine is operated with the hands rather than by electricity or a motor:

He still works on an old manual typewriter.

B2 involving physical work rather than mental work:

750 manual workers will lose their jobs as a result of company cutbacks.
Computer-controlled robots are taking over manual jobs in many industries.

More examples

manualnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈmæn.ju.əl/ us /ˈmæn.ju.əl/

manual noun [ C ] (MUSIC)

specialized music a keyboard, especially on an organ, designed to be played with the hands rather than the feet

(Definition of “manual” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"manual" in American English

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manualadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈmæn·ju·əl/

manual adjective [ not gradable ] (DONE BY HAND)

done or operated with the hands:

The mail can be sorted faster by machine then by manual sorting.
He has callouses on his hands from years of manual labor.

If a machine is manual, it does not use electricity to operate:

We all used manual typewriters in those days.
manually
adverb us /ˈmæn·ju·ə·li/

a manually operated pump

manualnoun [ C ]

us /ˈmæn·ju·əl/

manual noun [ C ] (BOOK)

a book that gives you practical instructions on how to do something or how to use something:

Get the computer manufacturer’s operating manual.

(Definition of “manual” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"manual" in Business English

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manualadjective

uk /ˈmænjuəl/ us

done or operated with the hands, and not using electricity, an electronic system, etc.:

The printer has a single-sheet manual feed in front.
manual process/system The computerized system that we introduced to replace our old manual system has brought significant advantages.

HR, WORKPLACE relating to physical work rather than mental work:

manual job/labour/work, etc. He had no qualifications and ended up doing various types of manual work.
It is men who have been hardest hit by the loss of permanent skilled and semi-skilled manual jobs.
The largely female workforce continues, in the main, to be treated as part-time, unskilled manual labour.

manualnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈmænjuəl/ us

a book that gives you practical instructions on how to do something or how to use something such as a machine:

Read through the instruction manual before you start.
We provide a training manual for all new staff.
on manual

not being operated automatically:

The heating system had been left on manual.

(Definition of “manual” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)