To manumit is to set free, or to release a slave from slavery. During slavery in the United States, it was rare for a slave owner to manumit his slaves.
Manumit comes from a Latin word meaning “set forth from the hand,” which happens when a slave owner frees a slave. The terrible history of slavery includes stories of owners who might manumit a slave as a reward for serving in their stead in the Revolutionary War, or simply to appear benevolent. While slavery is a sensitive topic, it’s especially difficult to talk about if you can’t pronounce manumit correctly, so try it like this: man-yuh-MITT.