Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

hermaphrodite

[hur-maf-ruh-dahyt]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. an individual in which reproductive organs of both sexes are present.Compare pseudohermaphrodite.
  2. Biology. an organism, as an earthworm or plant, having normally both the male and female organs of generation.
  3. a person or thing in which two opposite qualities are combined.
Show More
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a hermaphrodite.
  2. combining two opposite qualities.
  3. Botany. monoclinous.
Show More

Origin of hermaphrodite

1350–1400; Middle English hermofrodite < Latin hermaphrodītus < Greek hermaphródītos hemaphrodite, name of the son of Hermes and Aphrodite
Related formsher·maph·ro·dit·ic [hur-maf-ruh-dit-ik] /hɜrˌmæf rəˈdɪt ɪk/, her·maph·ro·dit·i·cal, her·maph·ro·dit·ish [hur-maf-ruh-dahy-tish] /hɜrˌmæf rəˈdaɪ tɪʃ/, adjectiveher·maph·ro·dit·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hermaphrodite

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for hermaphrodite

hermaphrodite

noun
  1. biology an individual animal or flower that has both male and female reproductive organs
  2. a person having both male and female sexual characteristics and genital tissues
  3. a person or thing in which two opposite forces or qualities are combined
Show More
adjective
  1. having the characteristics of a hermaphrodite
Show More
Derived Formshermaphroditic or hermaphroditical, adjectivehermaphroditically, adverbhermaphroditism, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin hermaphrodītus, from Greek, after Hermaphroditus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hermaphrodite

n.

late 14c. (harmofroditus), from Latin hermaphroditus, from Greek Hermaphroditos (Latin Hermaphroditus), son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who, in Ovid, was loved by the nymph Salmacis so ardently that she prayed for complete union with him and as a result they were united bodily, combining male and female characteristics. Also used figuratively in Middle English of "one who improperly occupies two offices." As a name for the condition, Middle English had hermofrodito (late 14c.), hermofrodisia (early 15c.). As an adjective, from c.1600.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hermaphrodite in Medicine

hermaphrodite

(hər-măfrə-dīt′)
n.
  1. An individual having the reproductive organs and many of the secondary sex characteristics of both sexes.
Show More
Related formsher•maph′ro•ditic (-dĭtĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

hermaphrodite in Science

hermaphrodite

[hər-măfrə-dīt′]
  1. An organism, such as an earthworm or flowering plant, having both male and female reproductive organs in a single individual.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.