\ 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 The call came weeks after six male teachers at Rocky River High School resigned or retired, after accusations of inappropriate discussions and text messages. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "Rocky River schools tax increase failed for the first time in almost a decade, after teacher investigation and letter over diversity education," 7 May 2021 Romania’s National Environment Guard launched an investigation in April after discovering that a male bear, rather than a female bear, had been killed and that key documents were missing. Washington Post, "Liechtenstein prince accused of poaching Europe’s largest bear," 7 May 2021 Pelham police and firefighters responded before noon to the Shelby County park after a male rider suffered a leg injury when a horse got spooked and threw the rider. Carol Robinson |, al, "Injured horseback rider airlifted out of Oak Mountain State Park," 7 May 2021 Well, mother and father trees, since each Douglas fir tree has male pollen cones and female seed cones. Suzanne Simard, Wired, "The Wolf Tree and the World Wide Web," 7 May 2021 Some mammals produce richer milk for their sons, perhaps because large male body size is ultimately more important in mate competition. Abigail Tucker, Smithsonian Magazine, "14 Fun Facts About the Science of Motherhood," 7 May 2021 The princesses will be joined by music director Benjamin Rauhala and Adam J. Levy, who will provide the male vocals for those famous romantic duets. Matthew J. Palm,, "Broadway stars headline Disney Princess concert at Dr. Phillips Center," 7 May 2021 Kathi George, director of field operations and response at the center, said the male whale had spent 47 days exploring the bay before dying. Susanne Rust Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Three more whales wash up dead near San Francisco — eight total in five weeks," 6 May 2021 Under the militants’ regime, girls were barred from attending school and women were not allowed to work outside the home or to appear in public without an all-encompassing body covering and a male escort. Saphora Smith, NBC News, "As U.S. withdraws, the future of Afghan women and girls hangs in the balance," 6 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So far, two cases of the variant known as P2 have emerged in Florida, in a 74-year-old male in Broward County and a 51-year-old woman in Duval County. Cindy Krischer Goodman,, "A new mutation of the Brazilian coronavirus variant surfaces in Broward," 6 May 2021 The youngest person killed, a 17-year-old male, was driving a car around 3 p.m. Sunday when one or more shooters opened fire, causing the teenager to suffer at least one gunshot wound to his face, police said. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, "Chicago crime: 46 people shot, 7 killed during weekend violence," 3 May 2021 Police are unsure if the 17-year-old male and the three men, ages 20, 21 and 25, knew each other and ask that anyone with information about the incident contact the Phoenix Police Department or call Silent Witness at 480-948-6377. Miguel Torres, The Arizona Republic, "1 dead, 3 wounded in west Phoenix gun battle that may have been drug related," 26 Apr. 2021 Doherty knew the real-world version of venture capital would be male-dominated. Washington Post, "Gen Z women are breaking into the venture capital boy’s club," 23 Apr. 2021 Jimmie Dean Young, a 60-year-old white male, was found dead April 15 in the 1500 block of Vanderbilt Road. Carol Robinson |, al, "Family sought for 4 men, 1 woman who died in Jefferson County over the past several weeks," 21 Apr. 2021 The 7-year-old male, known as AC-9, was driven to the Wild Animal Park, where it was examined by a veterinarian and then released into a quarantine aviary. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Last California Condor in the wild was captured in 1987," 20 Apr. 2021 As part of developing the campaign, the visitors bureau conducted focus groups on the city’s brand, which found Boston is still perceived as being racist, along with being male-dominated and arrogant., "Can Boston’s new ‘All Inclusive’ tourism campaign help change its racist image?," 5 Apr. 2021 The country nominations have always been male-dominated. Samantha Hissong, Rolling Stone, "The Grammys’ Executive Producer Does Not Care About the Ratings," 19 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

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Male.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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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