- the female human being, as distinguished from a girl or a man.
- an adult female person.
- a female attendant to a lady of rank.
- a wife.
- the nature, characteristics, or feelings often attributed to women; womanliness.
- a sweetheart or paramour; mistress.
- a female employee or representative: A woman from the real estate agency called.
- a female person who cleans house, cooks, etc.; housekeeper: The woman will be in to clean today.
- women collectively: Woman is no longer subordinate to man.
- to put into the company of a woman.
- to equip or staff with women.
- Obsolete. to cause to act or yield like a woman.
- of women; womanly.
- female: a woman plumber.
- be one's own woman, (of females) to be free from restrictions, control, or dictatorial influence; be independent.
Origin of woman
- a combining form of woman: chairwoman; forewoman; spokeswoman.
Examples from the Web for woman
A fourth suspect, a 26-year-old woman named Hayat Boumeddiene, remains at large.France Kills Charlie Hebdo Murderers
January 9, 2015
In 2009, a Pakistani Christian woman got into a religious argument with some Muslim women with whom she was harvesting berries.In Defense of Blasphemy
January 9, 2015
It is the summit of human happiness: the surrender of man to God, of woman to man, of several women to the same man.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President
January 9, 2015
While 19 percent of the House is female, just one woman will get to chair one of its 20 committees.The Unbearable Whiteness of Congress
January 8, 2015
Instead, the man and woman in the truck wanted to know where the crash site was and whether would I show them.The 7-Year-Old Plane Crash Survivor’s Brutal Journey Through the Woods
January 7, 2015
No woman was allowed to enter Olympia, during the celebration of the games.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
If that man was a woman he'd be a warm neighbourhood gossip.
Yea, like a woman, who deems a man safest when he is a tailor, or a perfumer.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
It had been all the same to Mrs. Bines for as many years as a woman of fifty can remember.
Now tell me just what you expect a woman in my position to do.
- an adult female human being
- (modifier) female or femininea woman politician; woman talk
- women collectively; womankind
- the woman feminine nature or feelingsbabies bring out the woman in her
- a female servant or domestic help
- a man considered as having supposed female characteristics, such as meekness or timidity
- informal a wife, mistress, or girlfriend
- the little woman informal one's wife
- woman of the streets a prostitute
- rare to provide with women
- obsolete to make effeminate
Word Origin and History for woman
late Old English wimman (plural wimmen), literally "woman-man," alteration of wifman (plural wifmen), a compound of wif "woman" (see wife) + man "human being" (in Old English used in reference to both sexes; see man (n.)). Cf. Dutch vrouwmens "wife," literally "woman-man."
The formation is peculiar to English and Dutch. Replaced older Old English wif and quean as the word for "female human being." The pronunciation of the singular altered in Middle English by the rounding influence of -w-; the plural retains the original vowel. Meaning "wife," now largely restricted to U.S. dialectal use, is attested from mid-15c. Women's liberation is attested from 1966; women's rights is from 1840, with an isolated example in 1630s.