manual (n.)

early 15c., "small service book used by a priest," from Old French manuel "handbook" (also "plow-handle"), from Late Latin manuale "case or cover of a book, handbook," noun use of neuter of Latin manualis "of or belonging to the hand; that can be thrown by hand," from manus "hand, strength, power over; armed force; handwriting," from PIE root *man- (2) "hand." Meaning "a concise handbook" of any sort is from 1530s. The etymological sense is "small book such as may be carried in the hand or conveniently used by one hand."

Related entries & more