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n. pl. wom·en (wĭm′ĭn)
1. An adult female human.
2. 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).
3. An adult female human belonging to a specified occupation, group, nationality, or other category. Often used in combination: an Englishwoman; congresswoman; a saleswoman.
4. A female servant or subordinate.
5. Informal
a. A wife.
b. A female lover or sweetheart. See Usage Notes at chairman, female, lady, man.
(one's) own woman
Independent in judgment or action: She has always been her own woman.
to a woman
Without exception.

[Middle English, from Old English wimman, variant of wīfman : wīf, woman + man, person; see man.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl women (ˈwɪmɪn)
1. (Anthropology & Ethnology) an adult female human being
2. (modifier) female or feminine: a woman politician; woman talk.
3. (Anthropology & Ethnology) women collectively; womankind
4. the woman feminine nature or feelings: babies bring out the woman in her.
5. a female servant or domestic help
6. a man considered as having supposed female characteristics, such as meekness or timidity
7. informal a wife, mistress, or girlfriend
8. the little woman informal one's wife
9. woman of the streets a prostitute
vb (tr)
10. rare to provide with women
11. obsolete to make effeminate
[Old English wīfmann, wimman; from wife + man (human being)]
ˈwomanless adj
ˈwoman-ˌlike adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈwʊm ən)

n., pl. wom•en (ˈwɪm ɪn)
adj. n.
1. an adult female person, as distinguished from a girl or a man.
2. a wife.
3. a female lover or sweetheart.
4. a female servant or attendant.
5. women collectively; womankind.
6. the nature, characteristics, or feelings often attributed to women; womanliness.
7. female: a woman plumber.
[before 900; Middle English womman, wimman, Old English wīfman=wīf female + man human being; see wife, man]
wom′an•less, adj.
syn: woman, female, lady are nouns referring to adult human beings who are biologically female, that is, capable of bearing offspring. woman is the general, neutral term: a wealthy woman. In scientific, statistical, and other objective use female is the neutral contrastive term to male: 104 females to every 100 males. female is sometimes used disparagingly: a gossipy female. lady in the sense “polite, refined woman” is a term of approval: We know you will always behave like a lady.
usage: 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 parallel to man. When modifying a plural noun, woman, like man, becomes plural: women athletes; women students. The use of lady as a term of courtesy has diminished somewhat in recent years, 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.


a combining form of woman: chairwoman; forewoman; spokeswoman.
usage: Compounds ending in -woman commonly correspond to the masculine compounds in -man: councilman, councilwoman; congressman, congresswoman. The current practice, esp. in edited written English, is to avoid the -man form in reference to a woman or the plural -men when members of both sexes are involved. Often, a sex-neutral term is used; for example, council member rather than either councilman or councilwoman; representatives or legislators rather than congressmen. See also -man, -person.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. used as a noun

You usually refer to an adult female person as a woman /'wʊmən/.

His mother was a tall, dark-haired woman.

The plural of woman is women /'wɪmɪn/.

There were men and women working in the fields.

You can use lady as a polite way of referring to a woman, especially if the woman is present.

We had a visit from an American lady.
There is a lady here who wants to speak to you.

Be Careful!
It is almost always better to refer to someone as an old lady or an elderly lady, rather than an 'old woman'.

I helped an old lady to carry her shopping.
She is an elderly lady living on her own.

If you are addressing a group of women, you call them ladies, not 'women'.

Ladies, could I have your attention, please?
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
2. 'woman' and 'women' used as modifiers

Woman is sometimes used in front of other nouns.

She said that she would prefer to see a woman doctor.

You use women in front of plural nouns, not 'woman'.

Women drivers can get cheaper car insurance.

Be Careful!
Normally, you just refer to a female doctor, writer etc as a doctor or a writer. Only use woman doctor, woman writer etc if it is necessary to make it clear that you are referring to a woman.

Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: womaned
Gerund: womaning

I woman
you woman
he/she/it womans
we woman
you woman
they woman
I womaned
you womaned
he/she/it womaned
we womaned
you womaned
they womaned
Present Continuous
I am womaning
you are womaning
he/she/it is womaning
we are womaning
you are womaning
they are womaning
Present Perfect
I have womaned
you have womaned
he/she/it has womaned
we have womaned
you have womaned
they have womaned
Past Continuous
I was womaning
you were womaning
he/she/it was womaning
we were womaning
you were womaning
they were womaning
Past Perfect
I had womaned
you had womaned
he/she/it had womaned
we had womaned
you had womaned
they had womaned
I will woman
you will woman
he/she/it will woman
we will woman
you will woman
they will woman
Future Perfect
I will have womaned
you will have womaned
he/she/it will have womaned
we will have womaned
you will have womaned
they will have womaned
Future Continuous
I will be womaning
you will be womaning
he/she/it will be womaning
we will be womaning
you will be womaning
they will be womaning
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been womaning
you have been womaning
he/she/it has been womaning
we have been womaning
you have been womaning
they have been womaning
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been womaning
you will have been womaning
he/she/it will have been womaning
we will have been womaning
you will have been womaning
they will have been womaning
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been womaning
you had been womaning
he/she/it had been womaning
we had been womaning
you had been womaning
they had been womaning
I would woman
you would woman
he/she/it would woman
we would woman
you would woman
they would woman
Past Conditional
I would have womaned
you would have womaned
he/she/it would have womaned
we would have womaned
you would have womaned
they would have womaned
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.woman - an adult female person (as opposed to a man)woman - an adult female person (as opposed to a man); "the woman kept house while the man hunted"
adult female body, woman's body - the body of an adult woman
adult, grownup - a fully developed person from maturity onward
female person, female - a person who belongs to the sex that can have babies
Black woman - a woman who is Black
white woman - a woman who is White
amazon, virago - a large strong and aggressive woman
maenad - (Greek mythology) a woman participant in the orgiastic rites of Dionysus
bachelor girl, bachelorette - a young unmarried woman who lives alone
baggage - a worthless or immoral woman
ball-breaker, ball-buster - a demanding woman who destroys men's confidence
bar girl, B-girl - a woman employed by a bar to act as a companion to men customers
bas bleu, bluestocking - a woman having literary or intellectual interests
bridesmaid, maid of honor - an unmarried woman who attends the bride at a wedding
broad - slang term for a woman; "a broad is a woman who can throw a mean punch"
cat - a spiteful woman gossip; "what a cat she is!"
Cinderella - a woman whose merits were not been recognized but who then achieves sudden success and recognition
coquette, flirt, minx, vamp, vamper, tease - a seductive woman who uses her sex appeal to exploit men
gentlewoman, ma'am, madam, lady, dame - a woman of refinement; "a chauffeur opened the door of the limousine for the grand lady"
deb, debutante - a young woman making her debut into society
divorcee, grass widow - a divorced woman or a woman who is separated from her husband
ex-wife, ex - a woman who was formerly a particular man's wife; "all his exes live in Texas"
donna - an Italian woman of rank
enchantress, femme fatale, temptress, Delilah, siren - a woman who is considered to be dangerously seductive
eyeful - a strikingly beautiful woman; "she was a statuesque redheaded eyeful"
geisha, geisha girl - a Japanese woman trained to entertain men with conversation and singing and dancing
fille, girl, miss, missy, young lady, young woman - a young woman; "a young lady of 18"
girl - a friendly informal reference to a grown woman; "Mrs. Smith was just one of the girls"
lady friend, girlfriend, girl - a girl or young woman with whom a man is romantically involved; "his girlfriend kicked him out"
girlfriend - any female friend; "Mary and her girlfriend organized the party"
gold digger - a woman who associates with or marries a rich man in order to get valuables from him through gifts or a divorce settlement
gravida - a pregnant woman
heroine - a woman possessing heroic qualities or a woman who has performed heroic deeds
inamorata - a woman with whom you are in love or have an intimate relationship
jezebel - a shameless impudent scheming woman
jilt - a woman who jilts a lover
lady - a polite name for any woman; "a nice lady at the library helped me"
maenad - an unnaturally frenzied or distraught woman
materfamilias, matriarch - a female head of a family or tribe
matriarch - a feisty older woman with a big bosom (as drawn in cartoons)
matron - a woman in charge of nursing in a medical institution
mestiza - a woman of mixed racial ancestry (especially mixed European and Native American ancestry)
kept woman, mistress, fancy woman - an adulterous woman; a woman who has an ongoing extramarital sexual relationship with a man
mother figure - a woman who evokes the feelings usually reserved for a mother
nanny, nursemaid, nurse - a woman who is the custodian of children
nullipara - (obstetrics) a woman who has never give birth to a child
houri, nymph - a voluptuously beautiful young woman
nymphet - a sexually attractive young woman
old woman - a woman who is old
cocotte, cyprian, fancy woman, lady of pleasure, sporting lady, tart, woman of the street, working girl - a woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money
knockout, lulu, mantrap, stunner, peach, ravisher, smasher, looker, beauty, sweetheart, dish - a very attractive or seductive looking woman
adult male, man - an adult person who is male (as opposed to a woman); "there were two women and six men on the bus"
2.woman - a female person who plays a significant role (wife or mistress or girlfriend) in the life of a particular man; "he was faithful to his woman"
colloquialism - a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech
female person, female - a person who belongs to the sex that can have babies
man - a male person who plays a significant role (husband or lover or boyfriend) in the life of a particular woman; "she takes good care of her man"
3.woman - a human female employed to do houseworkwoman - a human female employed to do housework; "the char will clean the carpet"; "I have a woman who comes in four hours a day while I write"
cleaner - someone whose occupation is cleaning
4.woman - women as a class; "it's an insult to American womanhood"; "woman is the glory of creation"; "the fair sex gathered on the veranda"
social class, socio-economic class, stratum, class - people having the same social, economic, or educational status; "the working class"; "an emerging professional class"
womankind - women as distinguished from men
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. lady, girl, miss, female, bird (slang), dame (slang), ho (U.S. derogatory slang), sheila (Austral. & N.Z. informal), vrou (S. African), maiden (archaic), chick (slang), maid (archaic), gal (slang), lass, lassie (informal), wench (facetious), adult female, she No woman would ever want to go out with you.
lady man, boy, guy (informal), male, lad, gentleman, bloke (Brit. informal), chap (informal), laddie
2. (Informal) girlfriend, girl, wife, partner, mate, lover, squeeze (informal), bride, mistress, spouse, old lady (informal), sweetheart, significant other (U.S. informal), ladylove, bidie-in I know my woman will never leave me.
3. maid, domestic, char (informal), housekeeper, lady-in-waiting, chambermaid, handmaiden, charwoman, maidservant, female servant Catriona had been nagging him to get a woman in to clean once a week.
Related words
combining forms gyn(o)-, gynaeco-
like gynomania
fear gynophobia
"The meaning of what it is to be a woman has never been more open-ended and therefore more filled with anxiety" [Nancy Friday What is a Real Woman?]
"Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size" [Virginia Woolf A Room of One's Own]
"The individual woman is required ... a thousand times a day to choose either to accept her appointed role and thereby rescue her good disposition out of the wreckage of her self-respect, or else follow an independent line of behavior and rescue her self-respect out of the wreckage of her good disposition" [Jeannette Rankin]
"When a woman behaves like a man why doesn't she behave like a nice man?" [Edith Evans]
"The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is `What does a woman want?'" [Sigmund Freud]
"A woman can look both moral and exciting - if she also looks as if it was quite a struggle" [Edna Ferber]
"I think being a woman is like being Irish ... Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the same" [Iris Murdoch The Red and the Green]
"Fickle and changeable always is woman" [Virgil Aeneid]
"A man is as old as he's feeling,"
"A woman as old as she looks" [Mortimer Collins The Unknown Quantity]
"Men play the game, women know the score" [Roger Woddis]
"A complete woman is probably not a very admirable creature. She is manipulative, uses other people to get her own way, and works within whatever system she is in" [Anita Brookner]
"One is not born a woman; one becomes one" [Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex]
"Woman was God's second blunder" [Friedrich Nietzsche Der Antichrist]
"Being a woman is of special interest only to aspiring male transsexuals. To actual women it is merely a good excuse not to play football" [Fran Lebowitz Metropolitan Life]
"A woman seldom writes her mind but in her postscript" [Sir Richard Steele The Spectator]
"A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle" [attributed to Gloria Steinem]
"Frailty, thy name is woman!" [William Shakespeare Hamlet]
"A woman, especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can" [Jane Austen Northanger Abbey]
"A woman who thinks she is intelligent demands equal rights with men. A woman who is intelligent does not" [Colette]
"Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult" [Charlotte Whitton]
"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his" [Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Ernest]
"When women go wrong, men go right after them" [Mae West]
"Women - one half of the human race at least - care fifty times more for a marriage than a ministry" [Walter Bagehot The English Constitution]
"Women can't forgive failure" [Anton Chekhov The Seagull]
"Women are really much nicer than men: no wonder we like them" [Kingsley Amis A Bookshop Idyll]
"Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke" [Gloria Steinem Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions]
"There are only three things to be done with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature" [Lawrence Durrell Justine]
"If all men are born free, how is it that all women are born slaves?" [Mary Astell Some Reflections upon Marriage]
"Good women always think it is their fault when someone else is being offensive. Bad women never take the blame for anything" [Anita Brookner Hotel du Lac]
"O fairest of creation, last and best"
"Of all God's works" [John Milton Paradise Lost]
"A woman's place is in the home"
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"
"A woman's work is never done"
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
kvindekvinde-kvindeligkvindelig hushjælp
konakvenmaðurhúshjálp, vinnukona
moterismoteriškoji pusėmoters brandos amžiusmoterys
kadıngünlük temizlikçi kadın
đàn bà


A. N (women (pl)) [ˈwɪmɪn]mujer f
woman is very different from manla mujer es muy distinta del hombre
I have a woman who comes in to do the cleaningtengo una mujer que me hace la limpieza
the woman in his lifesu compañera
his woman (= lover) → su querida
woman to womande mujer a mujer
women's doublesdobles mpl femeninos
women's footballfútbol m femenino
women's groupgrupo m femenino
women's libla liberación de la mujer
women's libberfeminista mf
women's movementmovimiento m feminista
she's her own womanes una mujer muy fiel a sí misma
women's pagesección f femenina
women's refugehogar m para mujeres maltratadas
women's rightsderechos mpl de la mujer
women's room (US) → servicio m de señoras
women's studies (Univ) → estudios mpl de la mujer
women's teamequipo m femenino
woman of the town (euph) → prostituta f
it's women's workes un trabajo de mujeres
a woman of the worlduna mujer de mundo
young womanjoven f
see also honest A1
see also little 1 A3
see also old A6
B. CPD woman doctor Ndoctora f
woman driver Nconductora f
woman engineer Ningeniera f
woman pilot Npiloto f
woman priest Nmujer f sacerdote
woman writer Nescritora f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈwʊmən] [women] (pl)
nfemme f
a young woman → une jeune femme
modif woman doctor, woman friend, woman teacherwoman doctor nfemme f médecinwoman driver nconductrice fwoman friend namie fwoman-hater [ˈwʊmənheɪtər] nmisogyne m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n pl <women> → Frau f, → Frauenzimmer nt (pej hum); (= domestic help)(Haushalts)hilfe f; (inf) (= girlfriend)Mädchen nt; (= mistress)Geliebte f, → Weib nt (pej); a woman’s work is never done (prov)Frauenhände ruhen nie (Prov); man that is made of woman (Rel) → der Mensch, vom Weib geboren; how like a woman!typisch Frau!; cleaning womanPutzfrau f, → Reinmachefrau f; woman is a mysterious creatureFrauen sind geheimnisvolle Wesen; where’s my supper, woman!Weib, wo ist das Essen!; the little woman (inf: = wife) → die or meine Frau; to run after womenden Frauen nachrennen; that’s woman’s workdas ist Frauenarbeit; women’s talkGespräche plvon Frau zu Frau ? old woman
adj attr woman doctorÄrztin f; woman lawyerAnwältin f; woman teacherLehrerin f; woman driverFrau fam Steuer


nFrauenhasser(in) m(f)
n (= women in general)alle Frauen, die Frauen pl; to reach woman(zur) Frau werden
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈwʊmən] n (women (pl)) → donna
young woman → giovane donna
come along, young woman! → su, signorina!
I have a woman who comes in to do the cleaning → ho una donna che viene a fare le pulizie
woman of the world → donna di mondo
the little woman (hum) (wife) → la mogliettina
the woman in his life → la donna della sua vita
women's page (Press) → rubrica femminile
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈwumən) plural women (ˈwimin) noun
1. an adult human female. His sisters are both grown women now; (also adjective) a woman doctor; women doctors.
2. a female domestic daily helper. We have a woman who comes in to do the cleaning.
-woman sometimes used instead of -man when the person performing an activity is a woman, as in chairwoman
ˈwomanhood noun
the state of being a woman. She will reach womanhood in a few years' time.
ˈwomankind, womenkind (ˈwimin-) nouns
women generally.
ˈwomanly adjective
(showing qualities) natural or suitable to a woman. a womanly figure; womanly charm.
ˈwomanliness noun
ˈwomenfolk (ˈwimin-) noun plural
female people, especially female relatives.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


اِمْرَأَة žena kvinde Frau γυναίκα mujer nainen femme žena donna 女性 여자 vrouw kvinne kobieta mulher женщина kvinna ผู้หญิง kadın đàn bà 女人
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. mujer.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n (pl women) mujer f
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.