\ ˈmāl How to pronounce male (audio) \

Definition of male

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 2)

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For instance, a 2021 study by the BBC found that male golf pros in 2014 earned an average of $1.1 million, while female pros earned $212,000 — a gap of $888,000; by 2021, that gap had grown to $1.25 million. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 20 May 2022 In one, a 1996 case, United States v. Virginia, Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion, which struck down the all-male admissions policy at a military institute on the basis of equal protection. New York Times, 20 May 2022 After the death of her husband, Harper (Buckley) escapes to the countryside for a vacation, where she's haunted by her loss and a host of disconcerting male figures (all brilliantly played by Rory Kinnear), from an odd boy to a naked stalker. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 20 May 2022 The first season already led to Lee becoming the first Asian actor win the Screen Actors Guild Award for best male performer. Jake Coyle, ajc, 20 May 2022 For the Labor Party, the numbers are slightly better, with 24% of female candidates contesting safe seats, compared with 33% of male candidates. Susan Harris Rimmer, CNN, 19 May 2022 Individual handicaps were there primary factor in determining the field, with five male player spots and two female player spots designated per impairment category. Beth Ann Nichols, The Arizona Republic, 19 May 2022 Joanie Lauer, who performed as Chyna, would go on and star as a wrestler competing against primarily male competitors. al, 19 May 2022 Meanwhile, a male friend and former peer (who corroborated her story for us) had been promoted and was on the path to a successful career doing the work Maria yearned for. Linda Babcock, WSJ, 19 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Often unsaid is what that bygone era looks like: white, male-dominated, Judeo-Christian and heterosexual. Luke Broadwater, New York Times, 16 May 2022 The subsequent investigation led police to identify Aviana Lipscomb and a male juvenile, who has yet to be located, as the suspects. Fox News, 24 Apr. 2022 The student who was stabbed, a male juvenile, suffered an injury that was not considered life-threatening. Andres Picon, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Apr. 2022 According to police, officers received reports that a male juvenile armed with a gun had pointed the weapon at someone. Clifford Ward,, 24 Mar. 2022 Kyle Moorehead, 19, of Oxon Hill and Zion Wormley, 20, of Capitol Heights, along with the male juvenile, are being held without bond at the county jail, police said. Washington Post, 4 Feb. 2022 Gilroy police said the threat was determined not to be credible, and a male juvenile was identified as the person responsible for the post. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 17 Dec. 2021 Truman Fitzgerald said the officers arrived to find the adult male unresponsive on the sidewalk. Carol Robinson |, al, 5 May 2022 Police responded to the scene and found an adult male deceased in a car. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 5 May 2022 See More

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.

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

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Male.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for male


\ 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

Male geographical name

Ma·​le | \ ˈmä-lē How to pronounce Male (audio) \

Definition of Male

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

More from Merriam-Webster on male

Nglish: Translation of male for Spanish Speakers

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


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