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

Recent Ipsos-Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) research shows that consumers, regardless of their income level, age, gender, race, or political identification, are almost universally worried about the cost of health care. Jason Resendez, The Mercury News, "Opinion: California bill would put an end to surprise hospital billing," 11 June 2019 Police did not immediately disclose the youth’s name, age or gender. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Northbrook police charge juvenile in connection with May shooting incident," 7 June 2019 At the same time, the idea that a person can create their own identity runs counter to a growing understanding of the ways in which race, gender, and class frame experience. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "Aleksandar Hemon’s Lost Eden," 6 June 2019 That one placed all the families together in a setting similar to a traditional homeless shelter, which meant that kids of various ages and genders had little separation for changing and other daily life functions., "40-room family shelter to open this month in Southeast Portland," 6 June 2019 Because many facilities only take certain ages or genders, being so close to capacity significantly delays the ability of HHS to find children a place in its care. NBC News, "Migrant children stuck at border stations, sleeping on concrete, because of HHS overcrowding," 4 June 2019 That’s because the majority of participants must meet certain qualifying standards based on age and gender in order to secure a spot. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "6 Things You Should Know Before Watching the 2019 Boston Marathon," 11 Apr. 2019 Clicking the label will reveal more detailed information such as how much money was spent on the ad, how many people saw it, and their age, gender and location. Kelvin Chan, The Seattle Times, "Facebook beefs up political ad rules ahead of EU election," 31 Mar. 2019 But if a role doesn’t require the actor to be a certain race or gender to tell the story, the actor should receive the part based on performance. Marie Claire, "Deep Dives," 7 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

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15 Jun 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

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