wom·an | \ ˈwu̇-mən , especially Southern ˈwō- or ˈwə- \
plural women\ˈwi-mən \

Definition of woman 

1a : an adult female person

b : a woman belonging to a particular category (as by birth, residence, membership, or occupation) usually used in combination councilwoman

2 : womankind

3 : distinctively feminine nature : womanliness

4 : a woman who is a servant or personal attendant

5a chiefly dialectal : wife

b : mistress

c : girlfriend sense 2

6 : a woman who is extremely fond of or devoted to something specified I'm a chocolate woman through and through, but one bite of West's banana pudding cupcake and I was sold. —Hattie Brown Garrow

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Other words from woman

woman adjective
womanless \ˈwu̇-mən-ləs, especially Southernˈwō- orˈwə- \ adjective

Synonyms for woman


female, lady

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Examples of woman in a Sentence

She grew up to become a confident and beautiful woman. She is a grown woman. The store sells shoes for both men and women.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In winning, Kerber also became the first German woman to win Wimbledon since Steffi Graff in 1996. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Angelique Kerber downs Serena Williams at Wimbledon in lead-up to Western & Southern Open," 14 July 2018 The Osprey Ariel AG 55 stood out as the best women-specific pack in that category. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Backpacking Packs," 13 July 2018 The woman and Williams once dated, the news station reported. Steve Burns, ajc, "Man accused of kidnapping woman from Georgia car parts plant, raping her," 13 July 2018 Two white men — the woman’s then-husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam — were charged with murder but acquitted. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "'Trayvon Martin before Trayvon Martin': 63 years after slaying, Emmett Till still visited daily at Alsip cemetery," 13 July 2018 Zaria Greenlee, 20, entered her plea before Judge Daniel Shanes, who in addition to conducting the arraignment on Thursday denied a defense request to lower the woman’s $250,000 bail. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Woman accused of hitting toddler with car pleads not guilty in Lake County court," 13 July 2018 Another woman, an 18-year-old medical student, had been shot in the right leg, and the bullet broke her femur. Joshua Partlow, chicagotribune.com, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 Senior women — Laura Davies and Trish Johnson recovered from rough stretches after two rounds of the inaugural US Senior Women’s Open at Wheaton, Ill.. BostonGlobe.com, "Robert Rock takes two-shot lead at Scottish Open," 14 July 2018 When the project was announced on July 2, there was an immediate online backlash against the movie that cast Johansson, a cisgender woman, to play a transgender man. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Scarlett Johansson Drops Out of 'Rub & Tug' Trans Film Following Backlash," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'woman.' 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 woman

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for woman

Middle English, from Old English wīfman, from wīf woman, wife + man human being, man

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Statistics for woman

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for woman

The first known use of woman was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of woman

: an adult female human being

: a woman who has a specified job or position

: all women thought of as a group


wom·an | \ ˈwu̇-mən \
plural women\ˈwi-mən \

Kids Definition of woman

1 : an adult female person

2 : women considered as a group

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More from Merriam-Webster on woman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for woman

Spanish Central: Translation of woman

Nglish: Translation of woman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of woman for Arabic Speakers

Comments on woman

What made you want to look up woman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an open space surrounded by woods

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