Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun, often attributive mem·ber \ˈmem-bər\

Simple Definition of member

  • : someone or something that belongs to or is a part of a group or an organization

  • : a part of a structure (such as a building or a bridge)

  • : a body part (such as an arm or a leg)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of member

  1. 1 :  a body part or organ: as a :  limb b :  penis c :  a unit of structure in a plant body

  2. 2 :  one of the individuals composing a group

  3. 3 :  a person baptized or enrolled in a church

  4. 4 :  a part of a whole: as a :  a syntactic or rhythmic unit of a sentence :  clause b :  one of the propositions of a syllogism c :  one of the elements of a set or class d :  either of the equated elements in a mathematical equation

Examples of member in a sentence

  1. The club has 300 members.

  2. She is a member of the House of Representatives.

  3. She is a member of Parliament.

  4. a member of the audience

  5. This bird is a member of the finch family.

  6. countries that are members of the United Nations

  7. a horizontal member of a bridge

Origin and Etymology of member

Middle English membre, from Anglo-French, from Latin membrum; akin to Gothic mimz flesh, Greek mēros thigh

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of member

part, portion, piece, member, division, section, segment, fragment mean something less than the whole. part is a general term appropriate when indefiniteness is required <they ran only part of the way>. portion implies an assigned or allotted part <cut the pie into six portions>. piece applies to a separate or detached part of a whole <a puzzle with 500 pieces>. member suggests one of the functional units composing a body <a structural member>. division applies to a large or diversified part <the manufacturing division of the company>. section applies to a relatively small or uniform part <the entertainment section of the newspaper>. segment applies to a part separated or marked out by or as if by natural lines of cleavage <the retired segment of the population>. fragment applies to a part produced by or as if by breaking off <only a fragment of the play still exists>.

MEMBER Defined for Kids


noun mem·ber \ˈmem-bər\

Definition of member for Students

  1. 1 :  someone or something that is part of a group

  2. 2 :  a part (as an arm or leg) of a person or animal

  3. 3 :  a part of a structure <A supporting member of the roof gave way.>

Medical Dictionary


noun mem·ber \ˈmem-bər\

Medical Definition of member

  1. :  a body part or organ <the thyroid gland may be the offending member—H. A. Overstreet>: asa:  limbb:  penis

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up member? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a blissful appearance

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • bride-of-dracula-in-cat-form-surrounded-by-candles-and-somewhat-bewilderingly-orange-sacks-instead-of-surely-much-cheaper-and-easier-to-find-actual-pumpkins
  • Which is a synonym of phlegmatic?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.