early 13c., man-kende, "the human race, humans collectively," from man (n.) + kind (n.). Also used occasionally in Middle English for "male persons" (late 14c.), but otherwise preserving the original gender neutrality of man (n.). For "menfolk, the masculine division of humanity, the male sex," menkind (late 14c.) and menskind (1590s) have been used. Mankind as "the human race" displaced earlier mankin (from Old English mancynn) which survived into 14c.