gen·​der | \ˈjen-dər \

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


gendered; gendering\ˈjen-​d(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of gender (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of gender in a Sentence


Please state your name, birth date, and gender. The adjective and noun must agree in number and gender. Some languages do not use genders.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But also gender is not an unimportant part of our band. Bridget Read, Vogue, "A Brief Oral History of Boygenius," 31 Oct. 2018 Researchers believe the child, whose gender is still unknown, died after a deadly malaria outbreak afflicted the fifth-century community that once inhabited this tiny medieval town on a hill about 60 miles north of Rome. Kristine Phillips, The Seattle Times, "Archaeologists find ‘vampire burial’ site of a child feared capable of rising from the dead," 26 Oct. 2018 The gender of her unborn child was a mystery to everyone, though the singer had an idea. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Harry Styles Helps Fan Come Out at San Jose Show," 12 July 2018 The couple spent Wednesday morning on a visit to the University of the South Pacific, where Meghan addressed an audience of students, teachers, and her proud husband, with passion on a gender equality topic that’s close to her heart. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's First Royal Tour Speech Passionately Promoted Female Education," 24 Oct. 2018 Yet, Judge Kavanaugh described the Obergefell decision, which legalized same-gender marriages, as an important landmark precedent. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Read the full transcript of Sen. Collins’s speech announcing she’ll vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh," 5 Oct. 2018 This mixed-gender event is something that the International Olympic Committee is interested in featuring, Rauch said. Madeline Mitchell,, "Ultimate Frisbee is likely to fly into the 2024 or 2028 Olympic Games. You can see the world's top players here in Greater Cincinnati," 12 July 2018 By analyzing 200 surgeries, anthropologists found that mixed-gender operating room teams exhibited the highest levels of cooperation. Christopher Intagliata, Scientific American, "Primate Conflicts Play Out in the Operating Room," 5 July 2018 Only elite women adopted the unveiled and mixed-gender socializing that the kings, queens, and courtiers were trying to popularize. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "Driving Toward Change," 23 June 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.

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First Known Use of gender


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


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gender


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


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

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Statistics for gender

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for gender

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

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More Definitions for gender


gen·​der | \ˈjen-dər \

Kids Definition of gender

: the state of being male or female : sex


gen·​der | \ˈjen-dər \

Medical Definition of gender 

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

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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 Encyclopedia article about gender

Comments on gender

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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