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. Botany. a pistillate plant.


  1. of, relating to, or being a female animal or plant.
  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of a female person; feminine: female suffrage; female charm.
  3. composed of females: a female readership.
  4. Botany.
    1. designating or pertaining to a plant or its reproductive structure that produces or contains elements requiring fertilization.
    2. (of seed plants) pistillate.
  5. Machinery. being or having a recessed part into which a corresponding part fits: a female plug.Compare male(def 5).


  1. of, relating to, or designating the sex producing gametes (ova) that can be fertilized by male gametes (spermatozoa)
  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of a womanfemale charm
  3. for or composed of women or girlsfemale suffrage; a female choir
  4. (of reproductive organs such as the ovary and carpel) capable of producing female gametes
  5. (of gametes such as the ovum) capable of being fertilized by a male gamete in sexual reproduction
  6. (of flowers) lacking, or having nonfunctional, stamens
  7. having an internal cavity into which a projecting male counterpart can be fitteda female thread


    1. a female animal or plant
    2. derogatorya woman or girl

1889, from female + -ness.


early 14c., from Old French femelle (12c.) “woman, female,” from Medieval Latin femella “a female,” from Latin femella “young female, girl,” diminutive of femina “woman” (see feminine).

Sense extended in Vulgar Latin from humans to female of other animals. Spelling altered late 14c. on mistaken parallel of male. As an adjective, from early 14c. Reference to sockets, etc., is from 1660s.


  1. Of, relating to, or denoting the sex that produces ova or bears young.


  1. A member of the sex that produces ova or bears young.
  2. A woman or girl.


  1. In organisms that reproduce sexually, being the gamete that is larger and less motile than the other corresponding gamete (the male gamete) of the same species. The egg cells of higher animals and plants are female gametes.
  2. Possessing or being a structure that produces only female gametes. The ovaries of humans are female reproductive organs. Female flowers possess only carpels and no stamens.
  3. Having the genitalia or other structures typical of a female organism. Worker ants are female but sterile.


  1. A female organism.

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