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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Though Anderson was very literally overexposed during her early career, Williams wanted to bring viewers closer to the real woman. Valli Herman, Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 Serious health risk is defined as a condition that could lead to the pregnant woman’s death or substantial physical impairment to a major bodily function. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, 30 July 2022 Uprooted Electrolysis, located in the Upper Peninsula, would not offer hair removal to a woman seeking the services as part of her transition. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 28 July 2022 While the Ford was registered to a Cleveland woman, the officer was unable to identify the driver. John Benson, cleveland, 27 July 2022 Ahead of Janet, the man turned to whisper something to the woman. Clare Sestanovich, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department failed to disclose an internal affairs investigation that reveals new information about the events leading to a young woman blinding herself in a cell at the Los Colinas jail in Santee. San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 July 2022 In another civil case from 2020, a judge ordered the church and other defendants to pay damages to a woman after members had convinced her that her child’s cancer was caused by familial sins. Ben Dooley, BostonGlobe.com, 23 July 2022 In another civil case from 2020, a judge ordered the church and other defendants to pay damages to a woman after members had convinced her that her child’s cancer was caused by familial sins. New York Times, 23 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near woman



woman's/feminine touch

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Statistics for woman

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Woman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woman. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for woman


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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