\ ˈmāl How to pronounce male (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Male (audio) \

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 \ ˈmāl-​nəs How to pronounce maleness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for male

Synonyms: Noun

bastard, bloke [chiefly British], buck, cat, chap [chiefly British], chappie [British], dude, fella, fellow, galoot [slang], gent, gentleman, guy, hombre, jack, joe, joker, lad, man

Synonyms: Adjective

man-size (or man-sized), manlike, 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

The following spring, transplant the males to the permanent bed. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Garden-Fresh Asparagus," 19 Aug. 2018 There are conflicting reports as to how the male apprehended on the airfield accessed the airfield. Carli Teproff, miamiherald, "Half-naked man runs across Atlanta runway toward Delta plane from Miami, video shows," 26 June 2018 Officers responded to the residence in the 10900 block of Northeast Marx Street around 1 a.m. and found the deceased male, who has not been identified, police said. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh,, "Homicide detectives investigate suspicious death in Northeast Portland, police say," 8 June 2018 As Benjamin, the only white male in the office, is about to ascend, his coworkers take turns airing grievances, offering him congratulations, sneaking in final furtive trysts, and wondering aloud about the injustices of their respective fates. Dmitry Samarov, Chicago Reader, "Refrigerator is a chilling look into the near future," 25 May 2018 The Trump administration added requirements, including longer background checks and more screenings for females and males between 14 and 50 from certain countries, including Iraq. ___ Associated Press writer Meghan Hoyer contributed to this report. Susannah George, The Seattle Times, "US again slashing number of refugees it will accept," 17 Sep. 2018 That put the victims at eight females and three males. Kim Steutermann Rogers, Smithsonian, "How the Tiniest of Parasites is Taking Down the Mightiest of Monk Seals," 9 July 2018 The arrangement with four females and two males ended up in a clash of personalities. M.a.c. Lynch,, "Love Story: Brought Together In A Hurricane," 24 June 2018 Baltimore County Police and Fire announced on Twitter that all four of the suspects were teenage males. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Suspects in killing of Baltimore County police officer arrested, eyed in burglaries in area," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In addition to media scrutiny, women in politics have also had to contend with rules that affect them and not their male colleagues. Anna North, Vox, "America’s sexist obsession with what women politicians wear, explained," 3 Dec. 2018 These women, like their white female counterparts, were paid less than their male colleagues for their work even though their work was critical in establishing America’s presence in the Space Race. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Black Women's Labor in America Has Always Been Exploited," 7 Aug. 2018 According to the Daily Beast, two female vice cops and two male colleagues reportedly went to the strip club where Daniels was performing on her Make America Horny Again tour. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Stormy Daniels Arrested While Performing at Strip Club," 12 July 2018 Although tech companies have stepped up efforts to recruit women and minorities, computer and software professionals who write AI programs are still largely white and male, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "A Crucial Step for Averting AI Disasters," 13 Feb. 2019 Pursuit’s current class of 144 is a 50 percent split between male and female fellows, 50 percent immigrants, 60 percent black or Hispanic, and the majority are on public assistance. Natt Garun, The Verge, "For Queens residents, Amazon’s HQ2 isn’t arriving without a fight," 20 Nov. 2018 Black male candidates nationwide also enjoyed success in primary races on Tuesday., "Primaries Yield Big Electoral Wins For Black Women, Men And People Of Color Nationwide," 28 June 2018 Kardashian fans might've also already known Kim was having a boy, as an insider told Us Weekly in August 2018 that her last embryo left was male. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Confirms She's Having a Boy and Hints at the Due Date," 15 Jan. 2019 The allegations that Strauss fondled and groped male athletes during physical examinations and medical treatment date to the 1970s. CBS News, ""A gauntlet of sexual deviancy": Ex-athletes describe lewd atmosphere at Ohio State," 12 July 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

10 Mar 2019

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 How to pronounce male (audio) \

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 How to pronounce male (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on male

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with male

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for male

Spanish Central: Translation of male

Nglish: Translation of male for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of male for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about male

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