- a wife.
- a female lover or sweetheart.
Idioms about woman
Origin of woman
synonym study for woman
usage note for woman
OTHER WORDS FROM womanwom·an·less, adjectivean·ti·wom·an, adjective
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH womanlady, woman (see synonym study at the current entry; see usage note at the current entry)
Other definitions for woman (2 of 2)
usage note for -woman
WORDS THAT USE -WOMAN
What does -woman mean?
The combining form -woman is used like a suffix meaning “woman,” most often to indicate a woman who performs a particular job or function. It is often used in a variety of technical and everyday terms.
The form -woman ultimately comes from the Old English wīfmann, meaning “woman” or, more literally, “female person,” from wīf, “woman” or “wife,” and mann, which was then a gender-neutral term for an adult person. Want to know more? Check out our Words That Use entry for -wife.
What are variants of -woman?
The plural form of -woman is -women, as in saleswomen. An ending that’s less commonly used but means the same thing is -lady, as in saleslady. The male equivalent of -woman is -man, as in salesman. However, use of this kind of gendered language for professions has decreased in recent years, with gender-neutral terms often being preferred. Namely, the ending -person is often used, as in salesperson. Some terms are changed altogether, such as mail carrier being used instead of mailman. Still, some people may prefer to use the gender-specific version of a term that applies to them—a mailman may prefer to call himself a mailman and congresswoman may prefer to call herself a congresswoman, for example.
For more guidance, check out the Thesaurus.com guide to gender-neutral language.
Examples of -woman
The form -woman is used in many different words and is especially associated with professions, such as businesswoman and camerawoman. But the -woman ending in all of these words can also be replaced with -man. Most terms now have commonly used gender-neutral equivalents, including congresswoman (congressperson or representative), policewoman (police officer), and chairwoman (chairperson or just chair).
What are some words that use the combining form -woman?
How to use woman in a sentence
A fourth suspect, a 26-year-old woman named Hayat Boumeddiene, remains at large.
In 2009, a Pakistani Christian woman got into a religious argument with some Muslim women with whom she was harvesting berries.
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|Pierre Assouline|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
While 19 percent of the House is female, just one woman will get to chair one of its 20 committees.
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|James Higdon|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
She was also supposed to be the original or model of “the Virtuous Woman” therein portrayed!Solomon and Solomonic Literature|Moncure Daniel Conway
The aged woman made no reply; her eyes still studied Ramona's face, and she still held her hand.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
There are three things a wise man will not trust: the wind, the sunshine of an April day, and woman's plighted faith.
I find myself chained to the foot of a woman, my noble Cornelia would despise!The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter
Woman is mistress of the art of completely embittering the life of the person on whom she depends.
British Dictionary definitions for woman
Other words from womanRelated prefixes: gyno-, gynaeco-
Derived forms of womanwomanless, adjectivewoman-like, adjective
Word Origin for woman
Other Idioms and Phrases with woman
see feel like oneself (new woman); marked man (woman); (woman) of few words; own person (woman); right-hand man (woman); scarlet woman.