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90s Slang You Should Know


[woo m-uh n-lee] /ˈwʊm ən li/
like or befitting a woman; feminine; not masculine or girlish.
in the manner of, or befitting, a woman.
Origin of womanly
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)
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. 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
  • But their education is to be "womanly," and carried on in the family.

    Home Life in Germany Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick
  • Never had she seemed to him so beautiful as now, for never had she seemed so womanly and yet so young.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • Instantly, he was all contrition over his unwitting offense inflicted on her womanly vanity.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Her voice had not been so kind, her look so womanly, for months.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • How can a woman be lovelier than when most womanly, or more precious than when she reflects her own weakness in clarity of soul?

    Demos George Gissing
British Dictionary definitions for womanly


possessing qualities, such as warmth, attractiveness, etc, generally regarded as typical of a woman, esp a mature woman
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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