1. an animal that produces gametes (ova) that can be fertilized by male gametes (spermatozoa);
2. a person who belongs to the sex that can have babies;
[syn: female, female person]
1. being the sex (of plant or animal) that produces fertilizable gametes (ova) from which offspring develop;
- Example: "a female heir"
- Example: "female holly trees bear the berries"
2. characteristic of or peculiar to a woman;
- Example: "female sensitiveness"
- Example: "female suffrage"
[syn: female, distaff]
3. for or pertaining to or composed of women or girls;
- Example: "the female lead in the play"
- Example: "a female chorus"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Female \Fe"male\, n. [OE. femel, femal, F. femelle, fr. L. femella, dim. of femina woman. See Feminine.] 1. An individual of the sex which conceives and brings forth young, or (in a wider sense) which has an ovary and produces ova. [1913 Webster] The male and female of each living thing. --Drayton. [1913 Webster] 2. (Bot.) A plant which produces only that kind of reproductive organs which are capable of developing into fruit after impregnation or fertilization; a pistillate plant. [1913 Webster]The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Female \Fe"male\, a. 1. Belonging to the sex which conceives and gives birth to young, or (in a wider sense) which produces ova; not male. [1913 Webster] As patient as the female dove When that her golden couplets are disclosed. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Belonging to an individual of the female sex; characteristic of woman; feminine; as, female tenderness. "Female usurpation." --Milton. [1913 Webster] To the generous decision of a female mind, we owe the discovery of America. --Belknap. [1913 Webster] 3. (Bot.) Having pistils and no stamens; pistillate; or, in cryptogamous plants, capable of receiving fertilization. [1913 Webster] Female rhymes (Pros.), double rhymes, or rhymes (called in French feminine rhymes because they end in e weak, or feminine) in which two syllables, an accented and an unaccented one, correspond at the end of each line. [1913 Webster] Note: A rhyme, in which the final syllables only agree (strain, complain) is called a male rhyme; one in which the two final syllables of each verse agree, the last being short (motion, ocean), is called female. --Brande & C. Female screw, the spiral-threaded cavity into which another, or male, screw turns. --Nicholson. Female fern (Bot.), a common species of fern with large decompound fronds (Asplenium Filixf[ae]mina), growing in many countries; lady fern. [1913 Webster] Note: The names male fern and female fern were anciently given to two common ferns; but it is now understood that neither has any sexual character. Syn: Female, Feminine. Usage: We apply female to the sex or individual, as opposed to male; also, to the distinctive belongings of women; as, female dress, female form, female character, etc.; feminine, to things appropriate to, or affected by, women; as, feminine studies, employments, accomplishments, etc. "Female applies to sex rather than gender, and is a physiological rather than a grammatical term. Feminine applies to gender rather than sex, and is grammatical rather than physiological." --Latham. [1913 Webster]The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
FEMALE, n. One of the opposing, or unfair, sex. The Maker, at Creation's birth, With living things had stocked the earth. From elephants to bats and snails, They all were good, for all were males. But when the Devil came and saw He said: "By Thine eternal law Of growth, maturity, decay, These all must quickly pass away And leave untenanted the earth Unless Thou dost establish birth" -- Then tucked his head beneath his wing To laugh -- he had no sleeve -- the thing With deviltry did so accord, That he'd suggested to the Lord. The Master pondered this advice, Then shook and threw the fateful dice Wherewith all matters here below Are ordered, and observed the throw; Then bent His head in awful state, Confirming the decree of Fate. From every part of earth anew The conscious dust consenting flew, While rivers from their courses rolled To make it plastic for the mould. Enough collected (but no more, For niggard Nature hoards her store) He kneaded it to flexible clay, While Nick unseen threw some away. And then the various forms He cast, Gross organs first and finer last; No one at once evolved, but all By even touches grew and small Degrees advanced, till, shade by shade, To match all living things He'd made Females, complete in all their parts Except (His clay gave out) the hearts. "No matter," Satan cried; "with speed I'll fetch the very hearts they need" -- So flew away and soon brought back The number needed, in a sack. That night earth range with sounds of strife -- Ten million males each had a wife; That night sweet Peace her pinions spread O'er Hell -- ten million devils dead! G.J.Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
22 Moby Thesaurus words for "female": distaff, female being, feminine, gentlewomanlike, girlish, gynecic, gynecoid, gynic, her, kittenish, ladylike, little-girlish, maidenly, matronal, matronlike, matronly, muliebral, petticoat, she, womanish, womanlike, womanly