\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

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

Playing Catch-Up This new financial world started out much like the old one did: male and white. Morgen Peck, Glamour, "Cryptocurrency Is Not Just a Boys' Club," 11 Dec. 2018 Subgroups of students—black males, white females, suburban kids, rural ones, Southern students, students living in poverty—are controlled for overall ability. Mathina Calliope, WSJ, "I Learned to Love Standardized Tests," 29 Nov. 2018 Some of these behaviors betray perpetrators’ feelings of (entitled) attraction, while others expose more clearly the long-simmering resentment that our society (male and otherwise) holds towards plus-size people. Nora Whelan, SELF, "Believing Women Means Believing the Plus-Size Ones, Too," 21 Nov. 2018 The suspected shooter, a white male, has been taken into custody after surrendering to a SWAT team at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, a Pittsburgh neighborhood. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting comes amid a years-long rise in anti-Semitism," 27 Oct. 2018 Undescended Testicles In some males, during fetal development, one or both testicles fail to descend from the abdomen into the sac that normally contains the testicles (a.k.a. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "Can Men Cause Fertility Issues?," 1 Oct. 2018 Both Democratic New York State Senate candidates, Ramos and Biaggi won their respective primaries, defeating entrenched (male) incumbents. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Campaigns Are Like Marathons—It’s Better to Run One With a Friend," 18 Sep. 2018 Police are seeking a younger white male, about 6 feet, with short hair. Nancy Daly,, "Boone sheriff's office seeks to ID 'bandage bandit'," 13 July 2018 The two alpha males going at it, matching profiles of intimidation, matching nerves of major steel. Tara Sullivan,, "Some head-to-head dream matchups we wish we could see," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The companies are largely white and male, especially in technical and leadership roles. Rachel Lerman, The Seattle Times, "Microsoft sees modest upticks in representation of women, minority employees," 14 Nov. 2018 Overwhelmingly white and male, these people are purporting to cower in fear before the rare African-American woman in the administration (Kellyanne Conway just struggled to name a high-ranking African-American member of Trump’s West Wing staff). Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Omarosa May Be Ridiculous, But She’s Not a “Terror”," 13 Aug. 2018 The inductees, including Tiffany Haddish, Miles Teller and Kumail Nanjiani, were part of the organization’s campaign to diversify its majority white and male membership. Christina Schoellkopf,, "Hashtag Highlights: DiCaprio's tease, Drake's surprise," 29 June 2018 Students during the rating were over 50 percent more likely to reserve last name references for male professors. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Why Curie’s no Einstein: A subtle gender bias in science," 29 June 2018 Both lists featured potential nominees who were overwhelmingly white, male and middle-aged, typically hailing from red or battleground states in the Midwest, according to an analysis by USA Today. Abby Vesoulis, Time, "Who Will Replace Anthony Kennedy? Here's the List of 20 Potential Trump Nominees," 27 June 2018 Scholars transcribed the tapes and studied their contents, and in the epilogue, a male professor gives a talk on them at a university conference several decades into the future. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Week's Grueling Handmaid's Tale Is A One-Woman Show," 27 June 2018 Rodriguez, who kept his sexuality to himself in his early days as a cop, recalled overhearing on several occasions racist, sexist and homophobic comments from his largely straight, white and male colleagues back then. NBC News, "Police at Pride? Gay cops, LGBTQ activists struggle to see eye-to-eye," 23 June 2018 At the same time, the witch hunters, the clerical and secular authorities presiding over inquisitions and tribunals tasked with identifying and eliminating witchcraft practitioners, were overwhelmingly male. Erin Cassese, Vox, "A political history of the term “witch hunt”," 31 Oct. 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

15 Dec 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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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

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).


a knickknack or trinket

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