pertaining to or characteristic of a man or men: masculine attire.
having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength and boldness.
Grammar. noting or pertaining to the gender of Latin, Greek, German, French, Spanish, Hebrew, etc., which has among its members most nouns referring to males, as well as other nouns, as Spanish dedo, “finger,” German Bleistift, “pencil.”
(of a woman) mannish.

noun Grammar.

the masculine gender.
a noun or other element in or marking that gender.

Origin of masculine

1300–50; Middle English masculin < Latin masculīnus, equivalent to mascul(us) male (mās male + -culus -cule1) + -īnus -ine1
Related formsmas·cu·line·ly, adverbmas·cu·lin·i·ty, mas·cu·line·ness, nounhy·per·mas·cu·line, adjectivehy·per·mas·cu·line·ly, adverbhy·per·mas·cu·line·ness, nounhy·per·mas·cu·lin·i·ty, nounnon·mas·cu·line, adjectivenon·mas·cu·line·ly, adverbnon·mas·cu·line·ness, nounnon·mas·cu·lin·i·ty, nounpseu·do·mas·cu·line, adjectivesu·per·mas·cu·line, adjectivesu·per·mas·cu·lin·i·ty, nounul·tra·mas·cu·line, adjectiveun·mas·cu·line, adjectiveun·mas·cu·line·ly, adverb
Can be confusedmale masculine macho (see synonym study at male)

Synonyms for masculine

2. manly. See male. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for masculine

Contemporary Examples of masculine

Historical Examples of masculine

  • It arose, I imagine, from an excess of the masculine element in his nature.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • But, at that moment, to Dr. Eben it looked large and masculine.

  • The boy gave her the superior smile of the masculine creature.

  • I told him that most of masculine Denboro fished or farmed or kept store.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • But since then it has had time and opportunity to become strong, bold, masculine, potential.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

British Dictionary definitions for masculine



possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a man; manly
  1. denoting a gender of nouns, occurring in many inflected languages, that includes all kinds of referents as well as some male animate referents
  2. (as noun)German ``Weg'' is a masculine
Derived Formsmasculinely, adverbmasculinity or rare masculineness, noun

Word Origin for masculine

C14: via French from Latin masculīnus, from masculus male, from mās a male
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 masculine

mid-14c., "belonging to the male grammatical gender;" late 14c., "of men, male," from Old French masculin "of the male sex" (12c.), from Latin masculinus "male, of masculine gender," from masculus "male, masculine; worthy of a man," diminutive of mas (genitive maris) "male person, male," of unknown origin. Meaning "having the appropriate qualities of the male sex, manly, virile, powerful" is first attested 1620s. As a noun from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

masculine in Medicine




Of or relating to men or boys; male.
Suggestive or characteristic of a man.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.