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 Southern  ˈwō-​ or  ˈwə-​ \ adjective

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

Among the eyewitnesses to the New York blackout were a La Mesa woman and her son. sandiegouniontribune.com, "July 14, 1977: Blackout hits N.Y.," 14 July 2018 Festival founder Jean Nelson, who died in 2016, is the woman who gathered Munchkins from around the country — including Mary Ellen and her late husband — to attend the annual Wizard of Oz Festival in Chesterton. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Chesterton Oz Fest ‘First Lady’ still greeting fans," 13 July 2018 The driver of the Jeep was a 69-year-old Gurnee woman, according to authorities. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Man dies in Antioch Township crash Friday; second motorcycle death in Lake County this week," 13 July 2018 Mary was an active, social woman who loved to travel and spend time with her family and friends. Orlando Sentinel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 7/12," 12 July 2018 The former Havre de Grace resident, however, was the only woman in the over-80 age group. Bill Blewett, The Aegis, "Harford triathletes fare well at Diamond in the Rough," 12 July 2018 Samantha Bee is the lone woman on the list of Emmy nominees for variety talk series. Jessica Gelt, latimes.com, "Samantha Bee talks Emmy noms and Ivanka Trump flap: 'I’m not afraid to court controversy'," 12 July 2018 The boy was treated at a hospital for cuts, bruises and bleeding from the ear, then released to his mother, who was not the woman in the video, police told The Riverside Press-Enterprise. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Father swings his infant son at a woman ‘like a baseball bat,’ California police say," 11 July 2018 The problem is that Johansson is a cisgender woman, and many people believe Gill was a trans man. Jesse Singal, Daily Intelligencer, "Business Insider Retracted a Bad Piece — and Set a Terrible Precedent," 11 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

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for woman

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

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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 \
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

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