• synonyms


[hur-maf-ruh-dahy-tiz-uh m]
  1. the condition of being a hermaphrodite.
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Also her·maph·ro·dism [hur-maf-ruh-diz-uh m] /hɜrˈmæf rəˌdɪz əm/.

Origin of hermaphroditism

First recorded in 1800–10; hermaphrodite + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hermaphrodism

Historical Examples of hermaphrodism

  • In man and other vertebrates, hermaphrodism is always abnormal.

    The Sexual Question

    August Forel

  • In other words, humanity begins its existence in a state of hermaphrodism.

  • In these cases the hermaphrodism is clearly secondary in the sense that the hermaphrodites descend originally from gonochorists.

    The Wonders of Life

    Ernst Haeckel

  • Thus it is difficult to class animals according to their manner of reproduction; hermaphrodism is another block.

  • The most strongly marked and most complicated forms of hermaphrodism are found in mollusks, and chiefly in gasteropodes.

Word Origin and History for hermaphrodism


1808, from French hermaphrodisme, from hermaphrodite (see hermaphrodite).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hermaphrodism in Medicine


  1. The presence of both ovarian and testicular tissue in an individual.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.