plural of woman.


[woo m-uh n]

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

the female human being, as distinguished from a girl or a man.
an adult female person.
a female attendant to a lady of rank.
a wife.
the nature, characteristics, or feelings often attributed to women; womanliness.
a sweetheart or paramour; mistress.
a female employee or representative: A woman from the real estate agency called.
a female person who cleans house, cooks, etc.; housekeeper: The woman will be in to clean today.
women collectively: Woman is no longer subordinate to man.

verb (used with object)

to put into the company of a woman.
to equip or staff with women.
Obsolete. to cause to act or yield like a woman.


of women; womanly.
female: a woman plumber.

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.



noun, plural wom·en's.

a range of sizes usually from 38 to 44 for garments that fit larger than average women.
a garment in this size range.
the department or section of a store where these garments are sold.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for women

Contemporary Examples of women

Historical Examples of women

  • Not only millionaires; but also painters and novelists and men and women of varied distinction.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Her house is the only one in all Greece where women are allowed to be present at entertainments.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • I am bound to him by ties stronger than usually bind the hearts of women.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • That matron, like most Grecian women, was ignorant of her own written language.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • You may have noticed that night at the Oldakers'—well, women, Mr. Bines, are uncertain.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for women



the plural of woman


noun plural women (ˈwɪmɪn)

an adult female human being
(modifier) female or femininea woman politician; woman talk
women collectively; womankind
the woman feminine nature or feelingsbabies bring out the woman in her
a female servant or domestic help
a man considered as having supposed female characteristics, such as meekness or timidity
informal a wife, mistress, or girlfriend
the little woman informal one's wife
woman of the streets a prostitute

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 women

plural of woman (q.v.).



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 women


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.