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womanly

[woo m-uh n-lee] /ˈwʊm ən li/
adjective
1.
like or befitting a woman; feminine; not masculine or girlish.
adverb
2.
in the manner of, or befitting, a woman.
Origin of womanly
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English wommanli(che). See woman, -ly
Related forms
womanliness, womanness, noun
half-womanly, adjective
unwomanly, adjective, adverb
Can be confused
effeminate, effete, feminine, womanish, womanly (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
2. Womanly, womanlike, womanish mean having the traits or qualities that a culture regards as especially characteristic of or ideally appropriate to adult women. Womanly is usually a term of approval, suggesting the display of traits admired by the society, such as self-possession, modesty, motherliness, and calm competence: a womanly consideration for others; with womanly skill and efficiency. Womanlike may be a neutral synonym for womanly, or it may suggest mild disapproval: a womanlike dignity; womanlike tears and recriminations. Womanish is usually disparaging; applied to women it suggests traits not generally socially approved: a womanish petulance; womanish disregard for the rules. Applied to men it suggests traits culturally deemed inappropriate for men and (in what is now often regarded as a sexist notion) to be found in women: a womanish shrillness in his speech; a womanish way of stamping his foot in anger. See also female.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for womanly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Under fire you said a most courageous, womanly, creditable thing.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • They possessed all the manly arts and some of the womanly arts as well.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • Nor say thou, that virtue, in the eye of Heaven, is as much a manly as a womanly grace.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • It was full of that womanly gentleness which fitted her so well.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • Your generosity carries you away, and your divine, womanly pity and kindness.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
British Dictionary definitions for womanly

womanly

/ˈwʊmənlɪ/
adjective
1.
possessing qualities, such as warmth, attractiveness, etc, generally regarded as typical of a woman, esp a mature woman
2.
characteristic of or belonging to a woman
Derived Forms
womanliness, noun
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
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