\ 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

For most of her life, Royale, who was assigned male at birth, never identified with masculine traits. Michael Williams,, "From Parliament House to the world’s 1st black Miss International Queen, Jazell Barbie Royale ‘brings a song to life’," 13 June 2019 Suspected driver is described as a Hispanic male wearing dark clothing last seen on foot. Jessica Seaman, The Denver Post, "One dead, another injured after three-car hit and run in Denver," 9 June 2019 Previous studies have shown that female dogs (as well as rats and chimpanzees) are more emotionally responsive than males. Bronwyn Orr, Quartz, "Your stress is hurting your dog, according to a new study," 9 June 2019 Phoenix police say the suspect is a black male around 20 to 30 years old with a medium build who wore a white shirt and dark pants. Serena O'sullivan, azcentral, "Phoenix police released a photo of possible suspect in nail salon killing," 7 June 2019 Video of the incident shows two males approaching the victim on the driver's side of the vehicle as a female approaches the passenger side. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "Police seek 3 people in aggravated assault of 66-year-old man in Far North Dallas," 5 June 2019 Gilenna is described as being a white male, 5-feet 6-inches tall, 125 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "Fire department searches Chain O' Lakes inlet for Fox Lake man missing since early May," 4 June 2019 Sunday's statement reads: Using male pythons with radio transmitters allows the team to track the male to locate breeding females. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Capture the Biggest Snake Ever Found in the Florida Everglades," 8 Apr. 2019 Consumed by her nagging, overbearing affectations, the Jewish mother was to blame for the persistent woes of the Jewish American male — his anxiety, his neuroticism, his own assimilation failures. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.," 5 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

DuPont will present a recital of art songs, spirituals and gospels by both female and male black composers on June 26. Elizabeth Nonemaker,, "Festival Baltimore celebrates the County’s 'world-class' concert hall," 13 June 2019 Public support from federation officials, and high-profile male players, can go a long way in changing the narrative for a women’s team. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Any embarrassment over USWNT's lopsided win over Thailand belongs to FIFA," 12 June 2019 Women who play on the world stage — like in the World Cup — get a $15,000 bonus; male soccer players earn a bonus of $55,000. Tara Golshan, Vox, "How the US women’s soccer team 13-0 World Cup win against Thailand became about pay equity," 11 June 2019 There is a direct line from King's advocacy to that of Venus Williams, who took up the mantle of equal pay and convinced Wimbledon, the most prestigious of the sport's four majors, to pay its male and female champions the same in 2007. Liz Clarke, Anchorage Daily News, "U.S. women’s soccer team is fighting two battles — for a World Cup title, and for equality," 11 June 2019 The victims, a male and female, were in separate vehicles on Beechwood Road near Craig Road, according to Union Township police. Cameron Knight,, "Two killed in Clermont County crash are identified," 11 June 2019 The male and female hopefuls are divided into teams. Hal Boedeker,, "‘5th Grader,’ ‘Ink Master’ return; ‘Bachelorette’ moves," 9 June 2019 At the time, most of the managers were white and male, and Smith was no exception. Zoe Schiffer,, "Low-income students question whether Berkeley co-ops are living up to mission," 9 June 2019 When Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese male player to be ranked in the top five in 2015, interest in the sport flourished in his home country. Gavin J. Blair, The Hollywood Reporter, "Japan's Wowow Defies Streamers With 13th Year of Subscriber Growth," 7 June 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

16 Jun 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).


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!