\ ˈmāl How to pronounce male (audio) \

Definition of male

 (Entry 1 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 : having a gender identity that is the opposite of female
c : made up of usually adult members of the male sex : consisting of males a male choir
d : characteristic of boys, men, or the male sex : exhibiting maleness a deep male voice
e : designed for or typically used by boys or men a male cologne male contraceptives
f : 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
g : having a quality (such as vigor or boldness) sometimes associated with the male sex
2 : masculine sense 3a a male rhyme
3 : designed with a projecting part for fitting into a corresponding female part a male hose coupling


plural males

Definition of male (Entry 2 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


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 Male (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for male

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of male in a Sentence

Adjective There were more male than female students. Most extension cords have a male plug on one end and a female plug on the other. Noun She attended a school where there were more males than females. The male of this species assists the female in feeding the young.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Per Ars Technica, DNA samples from the two bodies found that the fetus was male and that the two shared about 25 percent of their genes. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Was This Mummified 17th-Century Bishop Buried With a Fetus?," 13 Apr. 2021 Police said the victim was male, though the department’s post doesn’t name him or provide his age. Arkansas Democrat-gazette, Arkansas Online, "Little Rock police investigate discovery of body," 12 Apr. 2021 Almost 68% of the senior foreign service and nearly 60% of the executive leadership is male. Nicole Gaouette, CNN, "Blinken names chief diversity officer to lead change on a 'problem as old as the department itself'," 12 Apr. 2021 Young men are most at risk of suicide, especially those who are just beginning their military careers; in the Air Force, 8 in 10 victims are male. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "Military suicides in COVID era hit a new high," 12 Apr. 2021 Out of that total 58 were male and just four were female. Niall Mccarthy, Forbes, "60 Years Since Yuri Gagarin Made History: The Evolution Of Human Space Flight [infographic]," 12 Apr. 2021 In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, about 72% of local police officers were white and nearly 88% were male, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Melissa Chan, Time, "'I'm Going to Make a Change.' Police Departments Struggle to Recruit Black Cops, So This HBCU Came Up With a Plan," 9 Apr. 2021 Police said the Blazer’s driver was male, but no other description was immediately available. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pedestrian seriously injured in hit-and-run crash near Fashion Valley," 9 Apr. 2021 According to the company, the average age of a Rally user is 28, and most are male. Jacob Bernstein, Star Tribune, "Bored rich people turn to collectibles as investments," 6 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The two deaths reported for March were a 32-year-old female and a 31-year-old male, both in Westminster, according to the Sheriff’s Office report. Bob Blubaugh,, "First quarter sees 30% increase in overdoses in Carroll County; twice as many deaths," 12 Apr. 2021 Mobile police say a 19-year-old male has died after a shooting incident Sunday morning. Dennis Pillion |, al, "19-year-old dead after Mobile shooting," 11 Apr. 2021 In studying about 5,000 deaths from the U.K., scientists in Nature reported that the average 55- to 69-year-old male has about a 0.9% chance of death from the new variant, compared with a 0.6% chance of death from the old one. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Confused about all the coronavirus variants? What they do? Do vaccines work against them? Here’s the breakdown.," 9 Apr. 2021 The victim was a 26 year old Asian male, an NYPD spokesperson told CNN via email. Ganesh Setty, CNN, "Man arrested for assaulting Asian 7-Eleven employee in Manhattan, NYPD says," 8 Apr. 2021 The 45,000-year-old Siberian male inherited his shorter Neanderthal DNA chunks about 85 to 100 generations after that same encounter. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "More than 45,000 years ago, modern humans ventured into Neanderthal territory. Here’s what happened next," 7 Apr. 2021 Officers say a 19-year-old male was wounded in the chest. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "2 shootings wound 3 teens in Akron, police say," 6 Apr. 2021 Investigators said a 17-year-old male, was operating a 2014 Toyota Camry North on Vine Street when the two girls ran across the street in the path of his car and were struck. Chris Mayhew, The Enquirer, "Hamilton County coroner identifies 7-year-old pedestrian killed Tuesday," 31 Mar. 2021 Leicht said the mule is a 6-year-old male named Hickory, and the man has had him only for a few months. oregonlive, "Hickory the mule is back home after leading hikers to injured owner, then disappearing into forest," 30 Mar. 2021

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(1)


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

History and Etymology for male


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

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Time Traveler for male

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for male

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Male.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for male



English Language Learners Definition of male

 (Entry 1 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



English Language Learners Definition of male (Entry 2 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


\ 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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