womanly

[ woo m-uh n-lee ]
/ ˈwʊm ən li /

adjective

like or befitting a woman; feminine; not masculine or girlish.

adverb

in the manner of, or befitting, a woman.

Origin of womanly

1250–1300; Middle English wommanli(che). See woman, -ly

SYNONYMS FOR womanly

2 Womanly, womanlike, womanish mean having the traits or qualities that a culture regards as especially characteristic of or ideally appropriate to adult women. Womanly is usually a term of approval, suggesting the display of traits admired by the society, such as self-possession, modesty, motherliness, and calm competence: a womanly consideration for others; with womanly skill and efficiency. Womanlike may be a neutral synonym for womanly, or it may suggest mild disapproval: a womanlike dignity; womanlike tears and recriminations. Womanish is usually disparaging; applied to women it suggests traits not generally socially approved: a womanish petulance; womanish disregard for the rules. Applied to men it suggests traits culturally deemed inappropriate for men and (in what is now often regarded as a sexist notion) to be found in women: a womanish shrillness in his speech; a womanish way of stamping his foot in anger. See also female.

Related forms

wom·an·li·ness, wom·an·ness, nounhalf-wom·an·ly, adjectiveun·wom·an·ly, adjective, adverb

Can be confused

effeminate effete feminine womanish womanly (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for womanly

British Dictionary definitions for womanly

womanly

/ (ˈwʊmənlɪ) /

adjective

possessing qualities, such as warmth, attractiveness, etc, generally regarded as typical of a woman, esp a mature woman
characteristic of or belonging to a woman

Derived Forms

womanliness, noun
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