Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Female

Fe′male

,
Noun.
[OE.
femel
,
femal
, F.
femelle
, fr. L.
femella
, dim. of
femina
woman. See
Feminine
.]
1.
An individual of the sex which conceives and brings forth young, or (in a wider sense) which has an ovary and produces ova.
The male and
female
of each living thing.
Drayton.
2.
(Bot.)
A plant which produces only that kind of reproductive organs which are capable of developing into fruit after impregnation or fertilization; a pistillate plant.

Fe′male

,
Adj.
1.
Belonging to the sex which conceives and gives birth to young, or (in a wider sense) which produces ova; not male.
As patient as the
female
dove
When that her golden couplets are disclosed.
Shakespeare
2.
Belonging to an individual of the female sex; characteristic of woman; feminine;
as,
female
tenderness
.
Female
usurpation.”
Milton.
To the generous decision of a
female
mind, we owe the discovery of America.
Belknap.
3.
(Bot.)
Having pistils and no stamens; pistillate; or, in cryptogamous plants, capable of receiving fertilization.
Female rhymes
(Pros.)
,
double rhymes, or rhymes (called in French feminine rhymes because they end in e weak, or feminine) in which two syllables, an accented and an unaccented one, correspond at the end of each line.

Female screw
,
the spiral-threaded cavity into which another, or male, screw turns.
Nicholson.
Female fern
(Bot.)
,
a common species of fern with large decompound fronds (
Asplenium Filixfæmina
), growing in many countries; lady fern.
Syn.
Female
,
Feminine
.
We apply female to the sex or individual, as opposed to male; also, to the distinctive belongings of women; as, female dress, female form, female character, etc.; feminine, to things appropriate to, or affected by, women; as, feminine studies, employments, accomplishments, etc. “Female applies to sex rather than gender, and is a physiological rather than a grammatical term. Feminine applies to gender rather than sex, and is grammatical rather than physiological.”
Latham.

Webster 1828 Edition


Female

FE'MALE

,
Noun.
[L. femella. See Feminine.]
1.
Among animals, one of that sex which conceives and brings forth young.
2.
Among plants, that which produces fruit; that which bears the pistil and receives the pollen of the male flowers.

FE'MALE

,
Adj.
1.
Noting the sex which produces young; not male; as a female bee.
2.
Pertaining to females; as a female hand or heart; female tenderness.
To the generous decision of a female mind, we owe the discovery of America.
3.
Feminine; soft; delicate; weak.
Female rhymes, double rhymes, so called from the French, in which language they end in e feminine.

Definition 2022


female

female

English

Adjective

female (not comparable)

  1. Belonging to the sex which typically produces eggs and/or has XX chromosomes.
    • 1987, Don't Shoot[,] Darling!: Women's Independent Filmmaking in Australia, page 350:
      A travelling shot of a harbour view near Sydney's White Bay moves into a domestic interior as a female voice says, 'There was nowhere else to live except alone.'
  2. Belonging to the feminine gender (social category).
  3. (grammar, less common than 'feminine') Feminine; of the feminine grammatical gender.
    • 2012, Naomi McIlwraith, Kiyâm: Poems (ISBN 1926836693), page 43:
      The teacher's voice inflects the pulse of nêhiyawêwin as he teaches us. He says a prayer in the first class. Nouns, we learn, have a gender. In French, nouns are male or female, but in Cree, nouns are living or non-living, animate or inanimate.
  4. (figuratively) Having an internal socket, as in a connector or pipe fitting.

Synonyms

Coordinate terms

Derived terms

  • (see below)

Translations

Noun

female (plural females)

  1. One of the female (feminine) sex or gender.
    1. (sometimes offensive) A human member of the feminine sex or gender.
    2. An animal of the sex that produces eggs.
    3. (botany) A plant which produces only that kind of reproductive organ capable of developing into fruit after impregnation or fertilization; a pistillate plant.

Usage notes

  • Due to its zoological use, some find this dehumanizing if applied to people.

Synonyms

  • girl; see also Wikisaurus:girl
  • woman; see also Wikisaurus:woman

Translations

Derived terms

See also

References