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her·​maph·​ro·​dite (ˌ)hər-ˈma-frə-ˌdīt How to pronounce hermaphrodite (audio)
plural hermaphrodites
: an animal or plant having both male and female reproductive organs, structures, or tissue : an organism exhibiting hermaphroditism
: something that is a combination of diverse elements


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: possessing both male and female reproductive organs, structures, or tissue : hermaphroditic
hermaphrodite plants
Like their relatives the earthworms, leeches are hermaphrodite animals. Each individual has both male and female sex organs but cannot fertilize itself.Mark Carwardine

Examples of hermaphrodite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
This true hermaphrodite is one rare trophy indeed. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 16 Jan. 2023 God might be a hermaphrodite or something. David Marchesephotograph By Mamadi Doumbouya, New York Times, 22 Aug. 2021 This means that a hermaphrodite should invest as much energy as possible into making eggs. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 12 Nov. 2011 These scientists assayed samples from 229 individual wolves taken over the years—116 males, 112 females, and one hermaphrodite—to try to correlate the presence of antibodies against the parasite with demographic factors and specific behaviors. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, 29 Nov. 2022 With the new 7 Series, BMW is presenting a hermaphrodite, in contrast to the Mercedes EQS. Neil Winton, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 The lancetfish found onshore in Drake’s Bay at Point Reyes National Seashore had a gaping fanged jaw, is cannibalistic, a hermaphrodite and has no scales, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. Gale Hollandstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2022 Jeffdanielsi are mostly self-fertilizing hermaphrodites that produce their own sperm and eggs; on average, a single hermaphrodite can produce 160 babies in its lifespan. Todd Spangler, Variety, 19 Jan. 2022 Over centuries, the matted-haired, animal-skin wearing, hash-smoker has evolved into many things, including a hermaphrodite, for many people. Harish Pullanoor, Quartz India, 18 Dec. 2019
In her new book, Rowling introduces readers to Edie Ledwell, a creator of a popular YouTube cartoon who sees internet trolls and her own fandom turn on her after the cartoon was criticized as being racist and ableist, as well as transphobic for a bit about a hermaphrodite worm. Cheyenne Roundtree, Rolling Stone, 29 Aug. 2022 The hermaphrodite offspring self-fertilized for most of their lives and cross-fertilized only at the end. Saugat Bolakhe, Discover Magazine, 2 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hermaphrodite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English hermofrodite, borrowed from Latin hermaphrodītus, borrowed from Greek hermaphródītos, after Hermaphródītos hermaphroditus


from attributive use of hermaphrodite entry 1

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1607, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hermaphrodite was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near hermaphrodite

Cite this Entry

“Hermaphrodite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hermaphrodite. Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


her·​maph·​ro·​dite (ˌ)hər-ˈmaf-rə-ˌdīt How to pronounce hermaphrodite (audio)
: a hermaphroditic plant or animal

Medical Definition


her·​maph·​ro·​dite (ˌ)hər-ˈmaf-rə-ˌdīt How to pronounce hermaphrodite (audio)
: an individual exhibiting hermaphroditism
hermaphrodite adjective

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