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 One unidentified woman claims she was groped by a senior manager at a concert, and the same employee was the subject of inappropriate remarks prior to her performance review, which was reported to the official channels. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 15 June 2021 He is also charged with three counts of aggravated assault, using a gun to commit a crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm in the attacks on the two men and one woman in Columbus, the Ledger-Enquirer reports. Christine Pelisek, PEOPLE.com, 15 June 2021 The incident comes on the heels of another mass shootingin the areathat left one woman dead and nine others injured early Saturday. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, 15 June 2021 Chris Harrison hosts the romantic reality competition series in which one single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 15 June 2021 One 29-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center after she was shot in the leg and abdomen. Lucas Manfredi, Fox News, 14 June 2021 One woman was killed and three people were injured after a man plowed his car into a group of protesters in Minneapolis late Sunday. Washington Post, 14 June 2021 European — Two men and one woman finished in the top three of the inaugural Scandinavian Mixed golf tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden, with Jonathan Caldwell winning by one stroke for his first European Tour title. BostonGlobe.com, 13 June 2021 There were some spectators — one woman serenaded runners with a musical triangle on Meadow Street and a boy in front of his house on South Street bashed a gong set up on the lawn. Lori Riley, courant.com, 13 June 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

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Woman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woman. Accessed 20 Jun. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for woman

Nglish: Translation of woman for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of woman for Arabic Speakers


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