an individual in which reproductive organs of both sexes are present.Compare pseudohermaphrodite.
Biology. an organism, as an earthworm or plant, having normally both the male and female organs of generation.
a person or thing in which two opposite qualities are combined.


of, relating to, or characteristic of a hermaphrodite.
combining two opposite qualities.
Botany. monoclinous.

Origin of hermaphrodite

1350–1400; Middle English hermofrodite < Latin hermaphrodītus < Greek hermaphródītos hemaphrodite, name of the son of Hermes and Aphrodite
Related formsher·maph·ro·dit·ic [hur-maf-ruh-dit-ik] /hɜrˌmæf rəˈdɪt ɪk/, her·maph·ro·dit·i·cal, her·maph·ro·dit·ish [hur-maf-ruh-dahy-tish] /hɜrˌmæf rəˈdaɪ tɪʃ/, adjectiveher·maph·ro·dit·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for hermaphroditic

epicene, bi, AC-DC, androgynous, gynandrous, intersexual, monoclinous, gay, ambidextrous

Examples from the Web for hermaphroditic

Historical Examples of hermaphroditic

  • There are no hermaphroditic cravings after sexual excitement in him.

    My Contemporaries In Fiction

    David Christie Murray

  • The flatworms are hermaphroditic, and their propagation is by means of eggs.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • The myths frequently hit on the theory of a hermaphroditic being, both male and female, who produces another being out of himself.

  • In forms like Hydra, where both sexes are represented in a single individual, the organism is termed monœcious or hermaphroditic.

  • The hermaphroditic specimen was of some interest, since the ovary and testis both seemed to be enlarged.

British Dictionary definitions for hermaphroditic



biology an individual animal or flower that has both male and female reproductive organs
a person having both male and female sexual characteristics and genital tissues
a person or thing in which two opposite forces or qualities are combined


having the characteristics of a hermaphrodite
Derived Formshermaphroditic or hermaphroditical, adjectivehermaphroditically, adverbhermaphroditism, noun

Word Origin for hermaphrodite

C15: from Latin hermaphrodītus, from Greek, after Hermaphroditus
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

Word Origin and History for hermaphroditic

1620s, from hermaphrodite + -ic. Earlier form was hermaphroditical (c.1600).



late 14c. (harmofroditus), from Latin hermaphroditus, from Greek Hermaphroditos (Latin Hermaphroditus), son of Hermes and Aphrodite, who, in Ovid, was loved by the nymph Salmacis so ardently that she prayed for complete union with him and as a result they were united bodily, combining male and female characteristics. Also used figuratively in Middle English of "one who improperly occupies two offices." As a name for the condition, Middle English had hermofrodito (late 14c.), hermofrodisia (early 15c.). As an adjective, from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hermaphroditic in Medicine




An individual having the reproductive organs and many of the secondary sex characteristics of both sexes.
Related formsher•maph′ro•ditic (-dĭtĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

hermaphroditic in Science



An organism, such as an earthworm or flowering plant, having both male and female reproductive organs in a single individual.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.