gender

noun
gen·​der | \ ˈjen-dər How to pronounce gender (audio) \
plural genders

Definition of gender

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a subclass within a grammatical class (such as noun, pronoun, adjective, or verb) of a language that is partly arbitrary but also partly based on distinguishable characteristics (such 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 (see inflection sense 3a) showing membership in such a subclass
2a : sex the feminine gender
b : the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex
c : gender identity Those seeking state driver's licenses in Massachusetts are closer to being able to designate their gender as "X'' instead of "male" or "female." The state Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow for the nonbinary designation on licenses.— Steve LeBlanc Facebook's message was clear when the social media network added new gender options for users on Thursday: the company is sensitive to a wide spectrum of gender identity and wants users to feel accommodated no matter where they see themselves on that spectrum.— Katy Steinmetz

gender

verb
gendered; gendering\ ˈjen-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce gendering (audio) \

Definition of gender (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of gender in a Sentence

Noun

Please state your name, birth date, and gender. The adjective and noun must agree in number and gender. Some languages do not use genders.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And the contrast laid bare the growing gender gap between Democrats and Republicans. Laurie Kellman, The Seattle Times, "Women in white: Democrats draw contrast at Trump’s address," 6 Feb. 2019 Reducing gender gaps in the workforce Giving women more job opportunities, promoting their career advancement, and closing the pay gap are part of the four major promises labor officials made last year. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "The G20 summit is a reminder of how little the US is doing for American workers," 26 Nov. 2018 There is little gender gap on the question, with 59 percent of men and 57 percent of women preferring to detain immigrant families together until their case is resolved. Scott Clement, Washington Post, "The public rejected Trump’s child-separation policy, but a majority supports his push to detain families until court hearings," 13 July 2018 And efforts made by tech companies to close the gender gap have boosted the fortunes of white women, while hobbling progress for women of color. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook's diversity efforts failing African-American and Hispanic women," 12 July 2018 The program, along with its 10,000 Women Initiative, aims to close the gender funding gap. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Thursday, June 21," 21 June 2018 The problem for Democrats is that the ideology of race, gender and class is now so deeply ingrained on the political left that no one dares to challenge it. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Democrats’ Identity Meltdown," 10 Feb. 2019 In Trump's view, gender is an unchangeable fact defined by the genitalia you are born with. Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "Miss Universe Is Making History with the Pageant's First Openly Trans Contestant," 15 Dec. 2018 Or that having a college education is a weaker predictor of an American’s political views than her race, gender, age, or religion are. Jonathan W. Wilson, Vox, "My students aren’t asking for safe spaces. They’re repressing past traumas to survive.," 12 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gender.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gender

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gender

Noun

Middle English gendre, from Anglo-French genre, gendre, from Latin gener-, genus birth, race, kind, gender — more at kin

Verb

Middle English gendren, from Anglo-French gendrer, from Latin generare — more at generate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gender

Statistics for gender

Last Updated

9 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gender

The first known use of gender was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gender

gender

noun
gen·​der | \ ˈjen-dər How to pronounce gender (audio) \

Kids Definition of gender

: the state of being male or female : sex

gender

noun
gen·​der | \ ˈjen-dər How to pronounce gender (audio) \

Medical Definition of gender

2 : the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on gender

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gender

Spanish Central: Translation of gender

Nglish: Translation of gender for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gender for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gender

Comments on gender

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!