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  1. pertaining to or characteristic of a man or men: masculine attire.
  2. having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength and boldness.
  3. 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.”
  4. (of a woman) mannish.
noun Grammar.
  1. the masculine gender.
  2. 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

See more synonyms for on
2. manly. See male. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for masculinity

virility, machismo

Examples from the Web for masculinity

Contemporary Examples of masculinity

Historical Examples of masculinity

British Dictionary definitions for masculinity


  1. possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a man; manly
  2. unwomanly
  3. grammar
    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 masculinity

1748; see masculine + -ity. Earlier in same sense was masculineness (1660s).



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

masculinity in Medicine


  1. The quality or condition of being masculine.
  2. Something traditionally considered to be characteristic of a male.


  1. Of or relating to men or boys; male.
  2. 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.