manus (may-n<<schwa>>s), n. [Latin “hand”] 1.Roman law. The power exercised by the head of a family over all its members and slaves; esp. a husband’s power over his wife; marital subordination, which accompanied most marriages in early Rome. 2.Hist. A compurgator, or the oath taken. • This usage of manus may stem from the affiant’s placing a hand on the Bible while taking the oath. See COMPURGATOR.

[Blacks Law 8th]