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 And in 2016, an elderly woman found in a retention pool became the first recorded alligator death in the state's history. Julianne Mcshane, NBC News, 26 June 2022 The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office reported there were two individuals in the vehicle, an adult woman who died at the scene and another person who was taken to a hospital. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 26 June 2022 Then an older woman with a large fluffy dog approached. Lane Sainty, The Arizona Republic, 26 June 2022 Based on a novel written by Fannie Flagg, the 1991 film centers on an unhappy housewife who befriends an elderly woman in a nursing home who tells her stories about people from her past, including one very notable relationship. Alamin Yohannes, EW.com, 25 June 2022 Strangers, assuming that an older woman living on her own must be lonely, have asked Mrs. Eiler to be their pen pal. New York Times, 24 June 2022 Over Memorial Day weekend, a bison in Yellowstone gored an Ohio woman who had stood within 10 feet of the animal, significantly short of the park’s directive to stay at least 25 yards (or 75 feet) away. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, 22 June 2022 These conversations range from how women are perceived in the workplace to how laws affect an American woman's autonomy. Swarna Gowtham, Town & Country, 21 June 2022 An 82-year-old woman who lives directly across the street from the still under construction drone facility with her dog, horse, two ponies, and small herd of goats said no one had mentioned Amazon’s plans to her. Caroline O’donovan, Anchorage Daily News, 21 June 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

Time Traveler

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

29 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Woman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woman. Accessed 29 Jun. 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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