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

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Other Words from woman

woman adjective
womanless \ ˈwu̇-​mən-​ləs How to pronounce womanless (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 At the time of the fire, Perkins was a sociology professor and was active in the movement for women’s suffrage. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "Elizabeth Warren’s Crusade Against Corruption," 17 Sep. 2019 But the return of Sasha Banks has rejuvenated the women’s division in WWE, and despite ending in a disqualification, their match at Clash of Champions was the fight of the night. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "Clash of Champions Excites and Lucha Libre Honors Mexican Heritage Month," 16 Sep. 2019 The woman’s husband was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Casei Jones, 32, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods told reporters. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, "Remains of four children and mother are found in Georgia; husband charged," 16 Sep. 2019 Being an avid UConn women's basketball fan, there was always lots of whooping and hollering on game day. courant.com, "Lillian Tanguay," 15 Sep. 2019 High note: Opening night of the San Francisco Opera season was a whirl of color and style, at least for women’s fashions. Willie Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Pundits laugh at Andrew Yang. Regular people don’t," 14 Sep. 2019 Right behind them was the women’s champion, Shaelyn Sorenson, who also took third overall at a scorching 26:43. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chin Up: There's plenty to like about Al's Run, and more than most for these five rookies," 14 Sep. 2019 One clip of Yang dancing the Cupid Shuffle in a women’s exercise class got 1.6 million views. BostonGlobe.com, "Andrew Yang brings Silicon Valley’s upstart spirit to 2020 bid - The Boston Globe," 13 Sep. 2019 Gibbs said the collection was a guide to women's health and it had been plagiarized from other similar writings during the same period. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The Truly Baffling Case of the Ancient Voynich Manuscript," 12 Sep. 2019

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

Cite this Entry

“Woman.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woman?utm_campaign=sd&utm_medium=serp&utm_source=jsonld. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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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

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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

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).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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