- the female human being
- women collectively
- an adult female human being
- a female servant
- Dial. a wife
- a sweetheart or a mistress
- womanly qualities or characteristics; femininity: the woman in her
Origin of womanMiddle English wumman ; from Old English wimmann ; from wifmann ; from wif, female, wife + mann, human being, man: rounding of vowel due to influenced, influence of the initial w-
- of or characteristic of a woman or women; feminine
- being an adult human female: a woman scientist
- An adult female human.
- Women considered as a group; womankind: “Woman feels the invidious distinctions of sex exactly as the black man does those of color” (Elizabeth Cady Stanton).
- An adult female human belonging to a specified occupation, group, nationality, or other category. Often used in combination: an Englishwoman; congresswoman; a saleswoman.
- A female servant or subordinate.
- Informal a. A wife.b. A female lover or sweetheart. See Usage Notes at chairman, lady, man.
Origin of womanMiddle English, from Old English wimman, variant of w&imacron;fman : w&imacron;f, woman + man, person; see man.
(third-person singular simple present womans, present participle womaning, simple past and past participle womaned)
From Middle English woman, wimman, wifman, from Old English wÄ«fmann (“woman, female servant", literally “female person, female human being"), equivalent to wife +"Ž man. Compare Dutch vrouwmens (“wife", literally “woman-person"). Compare also West Frisian frommes (“woman, girl")(from frou and minske, literally "woman human-being"), Dutch vrouwspersoon (“woman"), German Weibsperson (“female person"), and dialectal German Fraumensch ("woman", literally "woman human-being").
- To include men and women, either the suffix -person is used, or a gender-inclusive synonym, for example police officer instead of policeman.
From the noun woman.