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 sense 1a 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


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

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

According to the World-Herald, Abraham Lincoln High School has a gender-neutral bathroom that anyone is allowed to use. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Iowa Students Demonstrated for and Against a Trans Classmate's Right to Bathroom Access," 15 Apr. 2019 Creating a gender-neutral space does not mean your entire space needs to be only white or cream. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "How to Design a Gender-Neutral Room That's Anything But Bland," 28 Feb. 2019 Alongside its exhibition program, the museum will host an academic institute focused on gender issues in art and science. Natalia Rachlin, WSJ, "A New Museum is Putting This Swiss Alps Town on the Map," 12 Dec. 2018 There’s the #MeToo movement, and then there’s just all of this anger at President Trump, some of it related to gender issues, some of it related to other progressive issues more broadly. Li Zhou, Vox, "The striking parallels between 1992’s “Year of the Woman” and 2018, explained by a historian," 2 Nov. 2018 Almost even more than our gender issue did, that did the year before. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Nat Geo executives Courteney Monroe, Rachel Webber and Susan Goldberg on Recode Decode," 6 July 2018 Like everything that’s been leveraged for votes or ratings (school shootings, gender-neutral bathrooms, talk-show insults), the issues surrounding immigration policy reform are often reduced to red state/blue state rallying cries. Lorraine Ali,, "How TV sounds and images of migrant children overrode the pundits and changed the immigration debate," 21 June 2018 Jolie’s speech highlighted the global necessity for gender equality, particularly in areas facing conflict. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Angelina Jolie Proves You Don’t Need a Suit to Command Attention at the United Nations," 30 Mar. 2019 Here, Clarke tells about repping Dolce & Gabbana’s new scent, saying goodbye to Khaleesi, and promoting gender equality. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "For Emilia Clarke, Ending Game of Thrones Was "the Metaphorical Undoing of the Bra"," 12 Mar. 2019

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

23 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce gender (audio) \

Kids Definition of gender

: the state of being male or female : sex


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on gender

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gender

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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