wom·​an ˈwu̇-mən How to pronounce woman (audio)
especially Southern
ˈwō- How to pronounce woman (audio)
ˈwə- How to pronounce woman (audio)
plural women ˈwi-mən How to pronounce woman (audio)
: an adult female person
: a woman belonging to a particular category (as by birth, residence, membership, or occupation)
usually used in combination
: distinctively feminine nature : womanliness
: a woman who is a servant or personal attendant
chiefly dialectal : wife
: 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
woman adjective
ˈwu̇-mən-ləs How to pronounce woman (audio)
 especially Southern  ˈwō-
 or  ˈwə-

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 The woman’s name is being held until next of kin is notified, police said. Daniella Segura, Sacramento Bee, 16 Feb. 2024 The brand is currently offering up to 30 percent off select styles like women's boots, mens' jackets, backpacks, fleece gloves, and more. Meaghan Kenny, Condé Nast Traveler, 16 Feb. 2024 Lopez plays a woman, named the Artist, who keeps tripping up in her relationships. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2024 Her 49 points Thursday also was a one-game best for her in college, and a one-game best for any University of Iowa women’s basketball player. Jacob Lev, CNN, 16 Feb. 2024 The young woman’s doctor refused to provide documentation. Janet Burns, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 McLaughlin stepped inside the woman’s car, then a stranger with a gun also got inside, police said. Julia Marnin, Miami Herald, 16 Feb. 2024 Gunna runs through concerns about women, former friends, and drug use throughout the song, but also notes some recent highlights, like the massive success of his last album, released after a year-long stint in jail, and his noticeable new fitness. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2024 The Rock Spring Elementary school student was crossing the street when she was struck by a 25-year-old woman. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 3 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'woman.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Old English wīfman, from wīf woman, wife + man human being, man

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near woman

Cite this Entry

“Woman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woman. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


wom·​an ˈwu̇m-ən How to pronounce woman (audio)
plural women ˈwim-ən How to pronounce woman (audio)
: an adult female person
: a woman who is a servant or attendant

Old English wīfman "a female person," from wīf "woman, wife" and man "person"

More from Merriam-Webster on woman

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