\ ˈmāl \

Definition of male 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a male person : a man or a boy

b : an individual of the sex that is typically capable of producing small, usually motile gametes (such as sperm or spermatozoa) which fertilize the eggs of a female

2 : a plant having stamens but no pistils



Definition of male (Entry 2 of 3)

1a(1) : of, relating to, or being the sex that typically has the capacity to produce relatively small, usually motile gametes which fertilize the eggs of a female

(2) : having or producing only stamens or staminate flowers a male holly

b : characteristic of boys, men, or the male sex a deep male voice

c : made up of usually adult male individuals : consisting of males a male choir

d : designed for or typically used by boys or men a male cologne male contraceptives

e : engaged in or exercised by boys or men A social code that taught women deference to male power in return for protection was upended … —Jane E. Schultz

f : having a quality (such as vigor or boldness) sometimes associated with the male sex

3 : designed with a projecting part for fitting into a corresponding female part a male hose coupling


geographical name
Ma·le | \ ˈmä-lē \

Definition of Male (Entry 3 of 3)

atoll in the Indian Ocean that is the chief island of the Maldives and contains the nation's capital population 103,693

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Other words from male


maleness \-nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for male

Synonyms: Noun

buck, dude, fella, fellow, gent, gentleman, guy, hombre, joker, lad, man

Synonyms: Adjective

man-size (or man-sized), manly, mannish, masculine, virile

Antonyms: Adjective

unmanly, unmasculine

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Examples of male in a Sentence


She attended a school where there were more males than females. The male of this species assists the female in feeding the young.


There were more male than female students. Most extension cords have a male plug on one end and a female plug on the other.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Experts say the turkey’s extreme territorialism, especially in males, programs them to assert their dominance — whether over another turkey or a human. Aditi Shrikant,, "When wild animals urbanize," 13 July 2018 They were acquitted by an all-male, all-white jury. Mary Schmich,, "The painful and necessary growth Emmett Till gave us," 13 July 2018 Two males entered a liquor store and demanded cash and liquor at gunpoint. Washington Post, "Crime reports for Anne Arundel and Howard counties and for Annapolis," 12 July 2018 Two 18-year-old male victims were each shot in the leg and taken to Mercy Hospital in stable condition. Katherine Nails,, "1 dead, 6 shot in just more than an hour in Philly," 12 July 2018 And, surprisingly, the male ICE detainees were full of praise for the facility. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "Richmond’s Mayor Butt meets ICE detainees," 12 July 2018 Crimes against gay males accounted for the largest number, with 172 last year. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Hate crimes increase again by double digits in California," 9 July 2018 Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% 0:00 / 0:50 Varsity Tavern accused of discrimination based on race Advertisement Black male club patrons report being turned away at the door based on fluid applications of the dress code. Prescotte Stokes Iii, star-telegram, "Internet crush #PlaneBae runs Varsity Tavern — and faces allegations of racial bias," 5 July 2018 In 1840, males outnumbered females 8.68 million to 8.38 million in the United States. Josh Magness, miamiherald, "How important is your state? Probably not nearly as important as you think, study says," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

UPrep, an all-male school serving grades 7-12, is one of Rochester's best regarded charter schools, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, with annual graduation rates well above 90 percent. Rebecca Bratek, CBS News, "Principal refuses to allow first black valedictorian to give speech, so Rochester mayor intervenes," 4 July 2018 The percentage of cooperative behaviors dropped steadily as the gender balance shifted toward men, reaching a low of 39% for all-male surgical teams, Jones and her colleagues report. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Yelling, cursing less likely to break out in operating rooms when female surgeons are present," 2 July 2018 Eighty-eight percent of those added to the federal bench under Trump are white, and 76 percent of them are male, according to a Bloomberg analysis., "Trump’s trophy case," 15 June 2018 For many centuries, and in many places around the world, women artists have been denied the opportunities afforded to their male counterparts. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Unprecedented Billboard Campaign Puts Spotlight on Indigenous Artists in Canada," 13 July 2018 Erika Elliott, the executive arts director of New York’s SummerStage (and the longest-standing program director in the festival’s history), said women aren’t cultivated to be headlining artists in the same way as their male counterparts. Jessica Lipsky, Billboard, "Latin Women Take The Reins: Insights From the Latin Alternative Music Conference," 13 July 2018 This twisted little web is so white and so male, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh went to high school together. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Confirmed: The Supreme Court Is Just Another White Boys’ Club," 10 July 2018 The Democratic Party’s incumbent officeholders are much more white and male than its voters. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Ocasio-Cortez Proved That ‘Identity Politics’ Is an Asset For Berniecrats," 27 June 2018 Unfortunately, with a few notable exceptions, the talent fronting late-night is still white, still male. Seth Platner, Glamour, "Meet the Women Giving Late-Night Comedy New Life," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'male.' 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 male


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


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

History and Etymology for male


Middle English, from Anglo-French masle, male, adjective & noun, from Latin masculus — more at masculine

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Dictionary Entries near male






Malea, Cape

male alto

Statistics for male

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for male

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

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More Definitions for male



English Language Learners Definition of male

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a man or a boy : a male person

: a male animal

: a plant that does not produce seed or fruit : a male plant



English Language Learners Definition of male (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to the sex that cannot produce young or lay eggs

: characteristic of boys or men

: having members who are all boys or men


\ ˈmāl \

Kids Definition of male

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a man or a boy

2 : a person or animal that produces germ cells (as sperm) that fertilize the eggs of a female

3 : a plant with stamens but no pistil



Kids Definition of male (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being the sex that fertilizes the eggs of a female

2 : bearing stamens but no pistil a male flower

3 : of or characteristic of men or boys a male singing voice


\ ˈmā(ə)l \

Medical Definition of male 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an individual that produces small usually motile gametes (as sperm or spermatozoa) which fertilize the eggs of a female



Medical Definition of male (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being the sex that produces gametes which fertilize the eggs of female

2 : designed for fitting into a corresponding hollow part

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Comments on male

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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