\ 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 maleness (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 The runners — male and female, young and old — were blessed at each mission. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: For more than a year, Tap Pilam has prayed for ancestors buried at the Alamo," 15 Sep. 2020 While research finds there is not a significant difference in the athletic performance of male and female children, hormonal changes that occur in puberty generally lead males to outperform females. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, "Conservative PAC attacking Sen. Peters’ support for sweeping LGBTQ civil rights bill," 15 Sep. 2020 The Social Security Administration has released its list of most popular male and female baby names for 2019. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Most popular baby names 2019: New list is out and Emma is no longer No. 1," 10 Sep. 2020 Organizers will award the top male and female finishers, as well as the best costumes. courant.com, "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 10 Sep. 2020 Bigender: Those who are bigender identify as having both gender identities of male or female. Leah Groth, Health.com, "What Does it Mean to Be Non-Binary? Experts Explain the Gender Identity," 8 Sep. 2020 Ma'MaQueen identifies as nonbinary, not necessarily male or female. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "Meet the flying Dutchwomen of RuPaul's Drag Race Holland season 1," 7 Sep. 2020 Four cases involved male and female victims who were walking together on a trail when the assailant approached on a bicycle. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Five hostile incidents reported last month on Arlington trails, police say," 5 Sep. 2020 In McGuinness’s favor, Von der Leyen demanded Ireland put forward male and female nominees. Peter Flanagan, Bloomberg.com, "Ireland Puts Forward Two Candidates to Replace Phil Hogan at EU," 4 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the 3300 block of Annabelle, a 25-year-old male was shot at about 1 a.m. Saturday, according to police. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit police: Overnight shootings leave 2 dead, 2 injured; police discover dead body," 13 Sep. 2020 The snake could have then mated with the only other snake, a 31-year-old male by the number 389,054 that also lives in the zoo, though kept separate these days. Peter Aitken, Fox News, "Female python, 62, at St. Louis Zoo lays 7 eggs, seemingly without male," 12 Sep. 2020 The victim, a male of unknown age, was struck near Main Street and Del Monte Avenue about 9:30 p.m., police said. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pedestrian struck, killed in Chula Vista," 12 Sep. 2020 This particular female snake is over 50 years old (the oldest snake documented in a Zoo) and has not been with a male in over 15 years! CBS News, "A 62-year-old python at the St. Louis Zoo laid 7 eggs despite not being near a male for over 15 years," 11 Sep. 2020 At the time no self-respecting high-school male wanted to drive an automatic—that was for parents and grandparents. David L. Scott, WSJ, "Mourning the Manual Transmission," 11 Sep. 2020 An intimate, candid, intergenerational exploration into the Black male identity through stories about education, criminal justice and sports. Nina Zafar, Washington Post, "What to watch on Thursday: ‘Julie and the Phantoms’ on Netflix," 10 Sep. 2020 Green is described as a Black male, 5-feet, 6-inches tall and weighing 140 pounds. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Search continues for 18-year-old missing from Auburn," 10 Sep. 2020 Police are seeking the suspect in a shooting in Anchorage’s Spenard neighborhood that sent a male to the hospital with life-threatening injuries Wednesday evening. Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage police seek suspect in Spenard shooting that left 1 person injured," 10 Sep. 2020

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

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Male.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/male. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for male

How to pronounce Male (audio)

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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