woman

[ woo m-uh n ]
/ ˈwʊm ən /
||

noun, plural wom·en [wim-in] /ˈwɪm ɪn/.

verb (used with object)

adjective

of women; womanly.
female: a woman plumber.

Idioms

    be one's own woman, (of females) to be free from restrictions, control, or dictatorial influence; be independent.

Origin of woman

before 900; Middle English womman, wimman, Old English wīfman, equivalent to wīf female + man human being; see wife, man1
Related formswom·an·less, adjectivean·ti·wom·an, adjective
Can be confusedlady woman (see synonym study at the current entry) (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonym study

Woman, female, lady are nouns referring to adult human beings who are biologically female; that is, capable of bearing offspring. Woman is the general term. It is neutral, lacking either favorable or unfavorable implication, and is the most commonly used of the three: a wealthy woman; a woman of strong character, of unbridled appetites. In scientific, statistical, and other objective use, female is the neutral contrastive term to male and may apply to plants and animals also: 104 females to every 100 males; Among lions, the female is the chief hunter. Female is sometimes used in disparaging contexts: a gossipy female; a conniving female. Lady meaning “refined, polite woman” is a term of approval or praise: a real lady in all things; to behave like a lady.

Usage note

2. Although formerly woman was sometimes regarded as demeaning and lady was the term of courtesy, woman is the designation preferred by most modern female adults: League of Women Voters; American Association of University Women. Woman is the standard feminine parallel to man. As a modifier of a plural noun, woman, like man, is exceptional in that the plural form women is used: women athletes; women students. The use of lady as a term of courtesy has diminished somewhat in recent years ( the lady of the house ), although it still survives in a few set phrases ( ladies' room; Ladies' Day ). Lady is also used, but decreasingly, as a term of reference for women engaged in occupations considered by some to be menial or routine: cleaning lady; saleslady. See also girl, lady, -woman.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for womans

British Dictionary definitions for womans

woman

/ (ˈwʊmən) /

noun plural women (ˈwɪmɪn)

verb (tr)

rare to provide with women
obsolete to make effeminate
Related formsRelated prefixes: gyno-, gynaeco-
Derived Formswomanless, adjectivewoman-like, adjective

Word Origin for woman

Old English wīfmann, wimman; from wife + man (human being)
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 womans

woman


n.

late Old English wimman (plural wimmen), literally "woman-man," alteration of wifman (plural wifmen), a compound of wif "woman" (see wife) + man "human being" (in Old English used in reference to both sexes; see man (n.)). Cf. Dutch vrouwmens "wife," literally "woman-man."

The formation is peculiar to English and Dutch. Replaced older Old English wif and quean as the word for "female human being." The pronunciation of the singular altered in Middle English by the rounding influence of -w-; the plural retains the original vowel. Meaning "wife," now largely restricted to U.S. dialectal use, is attested from mid-15c. Women's liberation is attested from 1966; women's rights is from 1840, with an isolated example in 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with womans

woman


see feel like oneself (new woman); marked man (woman); (woman) of few words; own person (woman); right-hand man (woman); scarlet woman.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.