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assigned female at birth.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does AFAB mean?

AFAB stands for “assigned female at birth.”

When a person’s gender identity is different from the female sex they were assigned at birth, for example, they might share that they were AFAB.

How is AFAB pronounced?

[ ey-fab ]

What are some other forms related to [AFAB]?

DFAB, “designated female at birth”

Where does AFAB come from?

Sex and gender are not the same thing. That means the sex label (male/female) traditionally put on babies when they’re born doesn’t always match up with a person’s gender identity.

AFAB (and AMAB, “assigned male at birth”) were created to help describe the difference between sex and gender, especially as a way people whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth.

How is AFAB used in real life?

Sex assignment at birth is made using biological markers, such as chromosomes and the presence of sex organs. Someone who is assigned female at birth, or AFAB, will typically have two X chromosomes and female genitalia, but as they grow up, they may identify as trans or two.

More examples of AFAB:

“While AFAB or AMAB may be useful for describing different trans or non-binary experiences (like whether or not someone experiences/has experienced male privilege), they are generally not considered identities in and of themselves. Calling a transman “AFAB,” for example, erases his identity as man. Instead, use a person’s requested pronouns and self-description.”
—Emilia Marcyk, Rainbow Round Table News, March 2017

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” #transawarenessweek #translivesmatter #transgender #transrightsarehumanrights #wontbeerased #translove #mtf #ftm #amab #afab #thisiswhattranslookslike
—@HavenPromos, November 2018


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.