Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to femaleness: femininity


a. Of or denoting the sex that produces ova or bears young.
b. Characteristic of or appropriate to this sex in humans and other animals: female hormones; female fashions.
c. Consisting of members of this sex. See Usage Note at lady.
2. Of or denoting the gamete that is larger and less motile than the other corresponding gamete. Used of anisogamous organisms.
3. Botany
a. Designating an organ, such as a pistil or ovary, that functions in producing seeds after fertilization.
b. Bearing pistils but not stamens; pistillate: female flowers.
4. Designed to receive or fit around a complementary male part, as a slot or receptacle: the female end of an extension cord.
1. A female organism.
2. A woman or girl.

[Middle English, alteration (influenced by male, male) of femelle, from Old French, from Latin fēmella, diminutive of fēmina, woman; see dhē(i)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

fe′male′ness n.
Usage Note: Perhaps because the use of female to modify a noun for a professional, as in female doctor, can seem derogatory if it seems to imply that professionals are male by default, some writers use woman or women as modifiers when identifying the sex of the referent is necessary. Despite this tendency, in our 2016 survey, overwhelming majorities of the Usage Panel (97 percent) found the use of both female and male to be acceptable in the sentences This book is written by a ______ author and This anthology features ______ authors. In contrast, the Panelists overwhelmingly rejected man author (92 percent), man authors (96 percent), and men authors (81 percent). Woman authors was a bit less unpopular (it was rejected by 74 percent of the panel), but it was rejected largely because of the clash between the singular modifier and plural noun, not because woman was being used as a modifier. The Panel was more favorable toward woman author, which was accepted by 43 percent of Panelists, and women authors, which was accepted by 64 percent, the only phrase among the batch surveyed that received a majority acceptance.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.femaleness - the properties characteristic of the female sex
sexuality, gender, sex - the properties that distinguish organisms on the basis of their reproductive roles; "she didn't want to know the sex of the foetus"
maleness, masculinity - the properties characteristic of the male sex


The quality or condition of being feminine:
References in periodicals archive ?
She said femaleness of humanity was inexorably tied to a time when a being was a foetus, growing and blossoming while feeding on the femaleness.
In a brief conversation at the washing line, Caroline reached for a femaleness brimming inside of her.
In order to explore how women, femininity, and in particular the female body were constructed and treated in medieval literature and culture, Schafer-Althaus found female saints' legends to be the most promising source for early attitudes and phenomena concerning medieval femininity and femaleness.
Sunardi is particularly interested in the construction of femaleness and magnetic female power, including how men who perform as women access it and its perseverance 'in the face of a variety of cultural pressures that work to contain, control, and suppress it' (p.
The monologues tackled a range of issues: From women's oppression to objectification to owning one's femaleness.
While Twilley's women, detached with glazed eyes or passed out on the couch, personify a femaleness that is not yet fully formed, this animal is ready--for sex, for dinner, for whatever.
My personal view (and this is not the view of the Sport Law & Strategy Group, or the view of Brock University where I teach, or the view of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport where I serve as a part-time Doping Control Officer) is that it is discriminatory to continue to challenge females on their femaleness and not similarly challenge males.
Categories of respectability nonetheless evolve over time and in different contexts, such that prevailing definitions of the respectable and the unrespectable in relation to femaleness carry particular meanings in specific cultures.
We know from science that theoretically there can be many genetic combinations of maleness and femaleness ranging between 1 to 100 per cent at the level of unit difference.
Thus, her purpose for writing is twofold: to urge compassionate care for those who do not fit the male-female binary, and also to expose the shortcomings of a theological anthropology which requires maleness and femaleness in order for an individual to be seen as fully human.
The official tour ends at Harlequin Beads & Jewelry, where artist Sonja Anise explores feelings of femaleness in a show called "Define.
Application of lower to medium rates (100 to 300 mg pot-1) of PCC strongly increased plant growth, femaleness, photosynthesis and fruit yield compared to control while higher (400 mg pot-1) rate showed inhibitory response on growth and yield components of both cultivars.