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female Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun an animal that produces gametes (ova) that can be fertilized by male gametes (spermatozoa)
  2. noun a person who belongs to the sex that can have babies
    female person.
  3. adjective being the sex (of plant or animal) that produces fertilizable gametes (ova) from which offspring develop
    • a female heir
    • female holly trees bear the berries
  4. adjective satellite characteristic of or peculiar to a woman
    • female sensitiveness
    • female suffrage
  5. adjective satellite for or pertaining to or composed of women or girls
    • the female lead in the play
    • a female chorus

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 adjective
  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. Shak.
  2. Belonging to an individual of the female sex; characteristic of woman; feminine; as, female tenderness. "Female usurpation.'b8 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.

Webster 1913