\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

And sure enough, the males in almost all of these species have much higher testosterone than the females. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Anthony Kennedy and the Death of True American Conservatism," 29 June 2018 Leopard War and Peace Amy Attenborough, also a guide at the reserve, notes in a blog post that the same male had killed the older female’s cubs several weeks before she was spotted mating with him. Doug Main, National Geographic, "Why These Leopard Sisters Are Mating With the Same Male," 27 June 2018 Police said the 24-year-old male sustained a gunshot wound to his lower torso. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Violent weekend in Gary leaves 1 dead, 16 wounded," 25 June 2018 No one knows whether the male killed the calf, which was thought to be the infant of the younger female. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "Do dolphins feel grief?," 19 June 2018 Cook County Sheriff’s police are investigating the shooting death of a 17-year-old Markham male found early Sunday in Ford Heights, a spokeswoman said Monday. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Sheriff's police investigate shooting death in Ford Heights," 11 June 2018 The male fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. Christina Lords, idahostatesman, "Police need your help identifying this man who they say robbed Meridian bank," 11 June 2018 Shulaya physically assaulted the older male and verbally berated him. Garrett Graff, Longreads, "A Vor Never Sleeps," 5 June 2018 The Oconee County Georgia Sheriff's Office said an 18-year-old male fell from a dam and into the creek and his friend sprung into action in an attempt to save him. Justin Carissimo, CBS News, "Search continues for 2 teens believed to have drowned in Georgia," 2 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And then, two weeks ago, Sasser hunted down his estranged wife, Katie, and executed her moments after shooting to death her male friend, Johnny Hall. Bill Torpy, ajc, "Torpy at Large: Something stinks in Brunswick, and it ain’t paper mills," 11 July 2018 In a second clip, Gomez cheers on a group of male friends, encouraging them to go for a dip in the Hudson River. Jeff Nelson,, "Selena Gomez Is All Smiles on N.Y.C. Boat Cruise with Friends Following Ex Justin Bieber's Engagement," 8 July 2018 The male and female who fled on the motorcycle were treated at the scene then taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Collier said. City News Service, Pomerado News, "Two injured in Poway following brief motorcycle chase," 8 July 2018 In Arab countries, you were allowed to hold a male friend’s hand. Gary Shteyngart, The New Yorker, "The Luck of Kokura," 18 June 2018 Both of the victim's male friends were hurt in the crash, and one ended up with a broken foot. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Man at large after running over woman three times outside south Houston bar," 3 June 2018 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

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

20 Oct 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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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