-woman


a combining form of woman: chairwoman; forewoman; spokeswoman.

Nearby words

  1. -ways,
  2. -wide,
  3. -wife,
  4. -wise,
  5. -witted,
  6. -word,
  7. -worth,
  8. -worthy,
  9. -xion,
  10. -y

Usage note

Feminine compounds ending in -woman are equivalent to the masculine compounds in -man. When the person referred to is a woman, the feminine form is often, but not always, used: alderman, alderwoman; assemblyman, assemblywoman; chairman, chairwoman; congressman, congresswoman; spokesman, spokeswoman; businessman, businesswoman. However, some forms ending in -man are applied to women, and occasionally terms in -man are specified by legal code: Alderman Dorothy Lavelle. In general, the practice in current edited written English is to avoid the -man form in reference to a woman or the plural -men when members of both sexes are involved. Instead, a sex-neutral term is used: council members rather than councilmen and councilwomen; representative or legislator rather than congressman or congresswoman. See also chairperson, -man, -person.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019