Of or relating to the hands: manual skill. Done by, used by, or operated with the hands. Employing human rather than mechanical energy: manual labor. Of, relating to, or resembling a small reference book. A small reference book, especially one giving instructions. Music A keyboard, as of an organ or harpsichord, played with the hands. A machine operated by hand. Prescribed movements in the handling of a weapon, especially a rifle: the manual of arms.