female


female
femaleness, n.
/fee"mayl/, n.
1. a person bearing two X chromosomes in the cell nuclei and normally having a vagina, a uterus and ovaries, and developing at puberty a relatively rounded body and enlarged breasts, and retaining a beardless face; a girl or woman.
2. an organism of the sex or sexual phase that normally produces egg cells.
3. Bot. a pistillate plant.
adj.
4. of, pertaining to, or being a female animal or plant.
5. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a female person; feminine: female suffrage; female charm.
6. composed of females: a female readership.
7. Bot.
a. designating or pertaining to a plant or its reproductive structure that produces or contains elements requiring fertilization.
b. (of seed plants) pistillate.
8. Mach. being or having a recessed part into which a corresponding part fits: a female plug. Cf. male (def. 5).
[1275-1325; ME, var. (by assoc. with MALE) of femelle < AF, OF femel(l)e < L femella, dim. of femina woman (see -ELLE); in VL developing the sense "female of an animal"]
Syn. 1. See woman. 4-7. FEMALE, FEMININE, EFFEMINATE are adjectives that describe women and girls or attributes and conduct culturally ascribed to them. FEMALE, which is applied to plants and animals as well as to human beings, is a biological or physiological descriptor, classifying individuals on the basis of their potential or actual ability to produce offspring in bisexual reproduction. It contrasts with MALE in all uses: her oldest female relative; the female parts of the flower.
FEMININE refers essentially to qualities or behaviors deemed by a culture or society to be especially appropriate to or ideally associated with women and girls. In American and Western European culture, these have traditionally included features such as delicacy, gentleness, gracefulness, and patience: to dance with feminine grace; a feminine sensitivity to moods.
FEMININE is also, less frequently, used to refer to physical features: a lovely feminine figure; small, feminine hands. EFFEMINATE is most often applied derogatorily to men or boys, suggesting that they have character or behavior traits culturally believed to be appropriate to women and girls rather than to men: an effeminate horror of rough play; an effeminate speaking style. See also womanly.

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(as used in expressions)
female homosexuality
female genital mutilation

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Female — (♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, which produces ova (egg cells). The ova are defined as the larger gametes in a heterogamous reproduction system, while the smaller, usually motile gamete, the spermatozoon, is produced by… …   Wikipedia

  • Female — Fe male, a. 1. Belonging to the sex which conceives and gives birth to young, or (in a wider sense) which produces ova; not male. [1913 Webster] As patient as the female dove When that her golden couplets are disclosed. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • female — n Female, woman, lady are comparable when meaning a person and especially an adult who belongs to the sex that is the counterpart of the male sex. Female (the correlative of male) emphasizes the idea of sex; it applies not only to human beings… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • female — female, feminine 1. general. Female is used as an adjective, contrasting with the etymologically unrelated word male, to designate the sex of humans and animals that can bear offspring and to designate plants that are fruit bearing. Feminine is… …   Modern English usage

  • female — Ⅰ. female UK US /ˈfiːmeɪl/ adjective ► belonging or relating to women: »The percentage of female managers in industry has doubled in five years. ► used to describe a piece of equipment that has a hole or space into which another part can be… …   Financial and business terms

  • female — (n.) early 14c., from O.Fr. femelle (12c.) woman, female, from M.L. femella a female, from L. femella young female, girl, dim. of femina woman (see FEMININE (Cf. feminine)). Sense extended in V.L. from humans to female of other animals. Spelling… …   Etymology dictionary

  • female — [fē′māl΄] adj. [ME, altered after MALE < femelle < OFr < L femella, dim. of femina, a woman < IE base * dhē , to suck, suckle > L felare, to suck, filius, son, fetus, progeny, Gr thēlazein, to suckle, thele, nipple] 1. designating… …   English World dictionary

  • female — ► ADJECTIVE 1) referring to the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs. 2) relating to or characteristic of women or female animals. 3) (of a plant or flower) having a pistil but no stamens. 4) (of a fitting) manufactured hollow so that a… …   English terms dictionary

  • Female — Fe male, n. [OE. femel, femal, F. femelle, fr. L. femella, dim. of femina woman. See {Feminine}.] 1. An individual of the sex which conceives and brings forth young, or (in a wider sense) which has an ovary and produces ova. [1913 Webster] The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • female — [adj] having the qualities or characteristics of a woman effeminate, fecund, feminine, fertile, maternal, muliebrous, womanish, womanly; concepts 371,408 Ant. male, masculine female [n] woman daughter, femme, gal, gentlewoman, girl, grandmother,… …   New thesaurus

  • female — female. См. самка. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.


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