wom·​an·​hood | \ ˈwu̇-mən-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce womanhood (audio) , especially Southern ˈwō- or ˈwə- \

Definition of womanhood

1a : the state of being a woman
b : the distinguishing character or qualities of a woman or of womankind

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Examples of womanhood in a Sentence

a young girl on the verge of womanhood What is your view of womanhood? The book is a celebration of womanhood.
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Recent Examples on the Web Dickinson, in particular, has always dwelled within constraining fantasies of womanhood. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "Alena Smith’s Subversive “Dickinson”," 25 Feb. 2021 Their appeals are couched in the language of protection and womanhood, which have long been calls to preserve a racial hierarchy. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "The Mothers Leading the Battle Against Trans Student Athletes," 19 Feb. 2021 Sometimes this means writing about Beyoncé and Black womanhood or unpacking the importance of public art and representation. BostonGlobe.com, "Black Joy. Black Wellness. Black Futures.," 10 Feb. 2021 Every moment of humor is met with intense honesty, coalescing into a fierce and funny portrait of contemporary Black womanhood. Annabel Gutterman, Time, "11 Audiobooks to Lighten the Mood This Dreary Winter," 15 Jan. 2021 Oak Flat is one of the sacred areas where Apaches hold the coming-of-age ceremony for girls to make their entrance into womanhood. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "John McCain’s Apache Land Grab Is Finally Happening," 15 Jan. 2021 The presence of Ginger and Mary Ann — the first a sexpot, the second a wholesome beauty — gave rise to an ongoing debate over who on the show best represented the male fantasy of womanhood. Washington Post, "Dawn Wells, wholesome castaway on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ dies at 82 of coronavirus," 30 Dec. 2020 The show refuses an intersectional approach to feminism—treating womanhood as an identity that overlaps with other identities like class, race, and sexuality. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "If You’re Missing Live Theater Right Now, Stream I Hate Suzie," 25 Nov. 2020 That gave her the power to escape the confines of Cherry Hill and suburban womanhood that her mother never left behind. Arthur Lubow, New York Times, "Jona Frank: Between Reality and Fantasy," 26 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'womanhood.' 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 womanhood

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for womanhood

Time Traveler

The first known use of womanhood was in the 15th century

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Statistics for womanhood

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Womanhood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/womanhood. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for womanhood



English Language Learners Definition of womanhood

: the state or condition of being an adult woman and no longer a girl
: women in general


wom·​an·​hood | \ ˈwu̇-mən-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce womanhood (audio) \

Kids Definition of womanhood

1 : the state of being a woman She has grown to womanhood.
2 : womanly characteristics

More from Merriam-Webster on womanhood

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for womanhood

Nglish: Translation of womanhood for Spanish Speakers

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