\ ˈmāl How to pronounce male (audio) \

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from male


maleness \ ˈmāl-​nəs How to pronounce maleness (audio) \ 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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

ProPublica also spoke to several cisgender women who said they were flagged for additional scrutiny after a TSA officer scanned them as male, causing their breasts to trigger the alarm. ProPublica, "When Transgender Travelers Walk Into Scanners, Invasive Searches Sometimes Wait on the Other Side," 26 Aug. 2019 Perhaps if a person is male, or conservative, or a Catholic priest, he should be considered guilty until proven innocent. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "The Strange Case against Cardinal Pell," 22 Aug. 2019 Lions rarely cross local freeways successfully, but the Orange County Register’s Martin Wisckol writes that a 4-year-old male dubbed P-61 made his way across the 405 freeway unimpeded just last month. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "California Will Build the Largest Wildlife Crossing in the World," 21 Aug. 2019 The suspect was described as a white male, about 5-feet 10-inches tall, 140 to 160 pounds, wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Man stabbed in Rancho Bernardo while confronting car prowler," 14 Aug. 2019 With no announcement concerning the gender of the body found July 21, the remains could be male. Tammy Ayer, The Seattle Times, "‘We have so many missing people’: Coroner tests remains found on Yakima River island as families wait, hope," 7 Aug. 2019 The two were with three other teens, black males 16 to 18 years old, police said. Jesse Garza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Police seek teens in robbery, car theft," 2 Aug. 2019 The driver, a 23-year-old male from Rialto, was not in possession of his license and was issued a citation. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Loaded gun, drugs alleged in LCF traffic stop," 30 July 2019 The Hyundai driver and another 16-year-old passenger were transported to the hospital with serious injuries while two other passengers, a 14-year-old female and 15-year-old male, were transported with life-threatening injuries, Lewis said. Aubrey Carpenter, azcentral, "Teenage girl who died in Phoenix garbage truck collision identified," 22 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Peyerk paid $400,000 to an anti-poaching program to receive permission to hunt the male rhino bull inside a Namibian national park in May 2018. Fox News, "Trump admin to allow trophy hunter to import rare black rhino parts to US," 7 Sep. 2019 The majority of those who killed themselves were male (349,082), and suicides were more common among middle-aged adults than younger and older adults. Linda Carroll, NBC News, "Suicide rates are rising, especially in rural America," 6 Sep. 2019 The royal has made mental health and the prevention of male suicide a key part of his public work Prince William is taking his mental health campaign to the soccer field. Simon Perry,, "Prince William Visits Soccer Club to Promote Mental Health — and Calls Out 'Outrageous' Racism in Sports," 6 Sep. 2019 Peyerk paid $400,000 to an anti-poaching program to receive permission to hunt the male rhino bull inside a Namibian national park in May 2018. Michael Biesecker, Detroit Free Press, "Shelby Township trophy hunter to import body of rare black rhino," 6 Sep. 2019 Abbigael Lee, 22, of Gresham is accused of crashing a Honda CRV around 4:20 a.m. near Northeast Kane Drive and 17th Street and fleeing with her male passenger. oregonlive, "Driver arrested after fleeing crash into power pole in Gresham," 5 Sep. 2019 The average adult American male 20 or older weighs 197 pounds. Elliott Hester, Los Angeles Times, "Smaller airplane bathrooms? That really stinks," 5 Sep. 2019 Yes, this Joker seems uncannily close to the white, male shooters of the American headlines. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Is Joker Just a Movie?," 5 Sep. 2019 Police arrived at the scene around 3 a.m. on the 1800 block of South Buckley Road and confirmed that a male bicyclist was dead, according to a news release by Sgt. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Aurora bicyclist killed by a hit-and-run driver," 4 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about male

Dictionary Entries near male






Malea, Cape

male alto

Statistics for male

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for male

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!