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 women (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 combinationcouncilwoman
3 : distinctively feminine nature : womanliness
4 : a woman who is a servant or personal attendant
5a chiefly dialectal : wife
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from woman

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

Synonyms for woman


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web In 2009, a 35-year-old woman died of cardiac arrest after getting thrown from the same ride. Fox News, "French woman thrown from roller coaster dies as husband tries to grab her feet," 7 July 2020 Officers found a 39-year-old woman nearby with an injury to her leg that police described as superficial. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Man riding ATV fatally shot in Akron," 7 July 2020 Among them was a trio of Brazilian filmmakers who’ve shot in Vila, and Penha’s mother, Antonia, a very old white-haired woman who perched on the couch in a bright housedress. Bill Donahue, Washington Post, "For the Olympics, poor communities in host cities are regularly displaced. For the Rio 2016 games, one village’s resistance sparked a global question: Should they be abolished?," 6 July 2020 The body of a 59-year-old Scottsdale woman who park officials say accidentally stepped off the rim at the Grand Canyon was recovered Friday afternoon. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Scottsdale woman falls to death at Grand Canyon," 5 July 2020 Five people were injured, and a 20-year-old woman died at Mount Sinai, police told the station. CNN, "Girl, 7, and teens among the victims in Chicago's violent July 4 weekend," 5 July 2020 The 213th death was an 84-year-old Lincoln County woman who tested positive June 19. oregonlive, "Oregon reports 4 new deaths, 303 new cases of COVID-19," 4 July 2020 Among the Kentuckians who perished as a result of the coronavirus were a 70-year-old man from Fayette County; 89- and 91-year-old women from Shelby County; and a 107-year-old woman from Jefferson County. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Beshear announces 299 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths ahead of July Fourth holiday," 4 July 2020 The announcement of the task force comes as the search for a missing 22-year-old Native American woman in Wisconsin enters its third week. Sarah Volpenhein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin task force to study high rates of violence against Native American women, girls," 4 July 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about woman

Time Traveler for woman

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for woman

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Woman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woman. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for woman


How to pronounce woman (audio) How to pronounce woman (audio) How to pronounce woman (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!