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Definition of GENDER
a: a subclass within a grammatical class (as noun, pronoun, adjective, or verb) of a language that is partly arbitrary but also partly based on distinguishable characteristics (as shape, social rank, manner of existence, or sex) and that determines agreement with and selection of other words or grammatical forms
b: membership of a word or a grammatical form in such a subclass
c: an inflectional form showing membership in such a subclass
: the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex
In language, a grammatical category contrasting distinctions of sex or animateness. Gender marking may be natural, with linguistic markers of gender corresponding to real-world gender, or purely grammatical, with markers of gender in part semantically based and in part semantically arbitrary. In languages with grammatical gender, nouns are partitioned into sets. Membership of a noun in a set may be expressed by its form and/or by the forms of other parts of speech controlled by the noun. Closely related to gender systems in language are class systems, as in Bantu languages, in which the number of sets into which nouns are partitioned is much larger, with distinct categories for things such as plants, animals, and tools, though, as with nouns in Romance and Germanic languages, assignment of most nouns to classes is semantically arbitrary.