wom·​an | \ ˈwu̇-mən How to pronounce woman (audio) , especially Southern ˈwō- How to pronounce woman (audio) or ˈwə- How to pronounce woman (audio) \
plural women\ ˈwi-​mən How to pronounce woman (audio) \

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
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 How to pronounce woman (audio) , especially Southern  ˈwō-​ or  ˈwə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for woman


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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 The first responders pulled the woman from the pool, but were unable to resuscitate her, Keller said. Michael Donohue, The Arizona Republic, 22 July 2021 So Newport was dear to her heart even before she was asked to be the first Black woman to curate a headline set. BostonGlobe.com, 22 July 2021 Swift is also the first woman to release three new No. 1 albums in a year, with Folklore, Evermore and Fearless (Taylor's Version) spanning eight months and two weeks, per Billboard. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, 21 July 2021 Hardy will move into her new role in early August and will be the first Black woman to lead the Dallas Morning News. Indystar Staff, The Indianapolis Star, 21 July 2021 Johnson, whose team takes to the pool for its group-play opener Saturday, is the first black woman to play for the U.S. in Olympic water polo. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 20 July 2021 Hayes, a former national teacher of the year, is the first Black woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. Mark Pazniokas, courant.com, 20 July 2021 And, sadly, Osaka isn't the only bi-racial woman to experience this kind of social vitriol as of late. Michelle Rui, Vogue, 20 July 2021 The model and actor is the first openly transgender woman to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue. Christopher Ros, Glamour, 19 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for woman

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for woman

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Woman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woman. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for woman



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 How to pronounce woman (audio) \
plural women\ ˈwi-​mən \

Kids Definition of woman

1 : an adult female person
2 : women considered as a group

More from Merriam-Webster on woman

Nglish: Translation of woman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of woman for Arabic Speakers


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