Skip to content


Definition of Mansplaining

Mansplaining is a term used to describe the behavior of men who condescendingly or patronizingly explain a topic to a woman, assuming that she has no knowledge or understanding of it. This behavior can be seen in many areas, from politics and academia to the home and daily life.

SYNONYMS FOR Mansplaining

  1. Male condescension.
  2. Unnecessary explanation.
  3. Paternalism.
  4. Arrogance.
  5. Disregard for women’s opinions.

ORIGIN OF Mansplaining

The term “mansplaining” was coined in 2008 by Rebecca Solnit in her essay “Men Explain Things to Me”. In it, Solnit describes how a man explained a book she had written to her, assuming that she didn’t know what she was talking about. Since then, the term has been widely used in feminism and popular culture to describe this type of behavior.


  • Although the term refers specifically to men explaining things to women, it can also apply to other situations in which someone with more power or knowledge explains something condescendingly to someone with less power or knowledge.
  • Some critics have argued that the term “mansplaining” is sexist and discriminatory, as it implies that all men engage in this behavior. However, most supporters of the term argue that it refers to a specific behavior and not all men in general.
  • There are some variations of the term, such as “whitesplaining” and “straightsplaining”, which refer to the behavior of white and straight people explaining things to people of other races or sexual orientations, respectively.
  • In 2018, the Oxford dictionary added the term “mansplaining” to its list of new words, which demonstrates the growing importance of the term in popular culture and everyday language.