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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.
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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.femaleness - the properties characteristic of the female sex
sexuality, gender - 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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The quality or condition of being feminine:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The statute defines sexual orientation to include having a self-image not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness.
Specifically, the way that male initiation reveals aspects of gender relatedness and indigenous understandings of maleness and femaleness always require special consideration in the Melanesian material.
Femaleness is questioned within the context of childbearing: "What good is a woman if she cant have pickney" (p.
Actually a triple one, for members of his own tribe will kick him--for not maintaining erectness on behalf of them and for showing that machismo, meant to abolish all femaleness in males, doesn't boost ethnic men outside the tribe.
Some of the very early poems like 'Renascence' show evidence of psychological conflicts about maleness and femaleness which would inform much of Graves's poetry.
* luteinizing hormone (LH)--stimulates the ovaries or testes to produce sex hormones that determine many features of "maleness" or "femaleness"; and
Lennox's originality is the direct result of her femaleness and can be explained by using Kristeva's theory of 'abjection'.
Perhaps the most fruitful value of the book lies in the candor with which Cannon discusses the task of doing ethical reflection in a society that despises both blackness and femaleness. She clarifies that her work as a liberation ethicist falls into four areas: (1) the creation of new womanist pedagogical styles (she gives examples of this in chap.
Gutek argues that the application of stereotypes to an entire class of workers is the result of the sex segregation of white-collar jobs: Managers equate clerical work with femaleness because clerical jobs are filled mostly with women.
If working men could "cuss back," gender ideology inhibited wage-earning women from lashing out at a system that both recruited them for their cheapness and lamented their inefficiency and femaleness. Tales about women workers succumbed to melodrama and sentimentality; women appeared as objects of charity and reform and victims of modern, scientific production.
- Relative maleness was scored as the proportion of all successful pollinations resulting in seeds sired on other plants, and relative femaleness as the proportion of all successful pollinations resulting in fruits produced on individual plants.
Africa is the selfish lover, indifferent to the speaker, "Because I am the woman I am--a terrible, threatening mixture of conflict and strangeness that is unacceptable all around me." Still, the narrator is the daughter of Africa, just as Mouse is the daughter of Johnny, who is also a selfish lover, desiring to bring out the genius of her writing while simultaneously punishing her for her "femaleness."