Definition of woman in English:


See synonyms for woman

Translate woman into Spanish

nounplural noun women/ˈwimən/ /ˈwɪmən/

  • 1An adult female human being.

    ‘a drawing of a young woman’
    • ‘a jury of seven women and five men’
    • ‘she stormed into the women's final undefeated’
    • ‘The jury of seven women and five men were discharged after failing to reach a verdict after more than eight hours of deliberation.’
    • ‘The course is open to mature adults, particularly women, who wish to return to the workforce.’
    • ‘Art inspires creativity and empowers women.’
    • ‘These brave men and women fought to protect their nations and ways of life.’
    • ‘A man and a woman have been arrested by detectives.’
    • ‘It's incredibly difficult to answer the question of how many women work in cybersecurity.’
    • ‘In 1961, she became the first woman to pass the grueling astronaut testing.’
    • ‘A group of women took to the streets with placards in hand, protesting against the government.’
    • ‘For many women in the industry, it's a game-changer they never thought they'd see.’
    • ‘I stand in solidarity with everyone who is fighting to protect the rights of women.’
    • ‘I can honestly say I was always respected as a woman and a director.’
    • ‘She was a woman of great independence of mind.’
    • ‘Many of the women competing in the World Cup will also be at the Olympics.’
    • ‘Yesterday, you swore the murderer was a woman!’
    • ‘A woman asked if I was looking for someone.’
    lady, adult female, female
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A female member of a workforce, team, etc.
      ‘thousands of women were laid off’
      • ‘CNN's woman in Baghdad’
      • ‘our team is two women down tonight’
    2. 1.2with modifier A female person associated with a particular place, activity, or occupation.
      ‘a Princeton woman was recently named the Young Lawyer of the Year’
      • ‘Young career women are more likely to demand things like flextime from employers.’
      • ‘She is very much a country woman at heart.’
      • ‘London women are globally-minded.’
      • ‘The annual competition honors outstanding college women across the country.’
      • ‘University women are strong advocates for education.’
      • ‘I was one of many technology women who were fortunate enough to be the first wave of female hirings in technology during the start of the Internet Age.’
      • ‘Working six days a week, these computer women collectively mapped the skies and laid the groundwork for future astronomical theories.’
      • ‘I see city women doing the same work as I do and it makes me realise we are just the same.’
      • ‘To protect their identity, we have used pseudonyms for all management women.’
      • ‘The organisation was founded in 1973 by high-ranking government women.’
    3. 1.3in singular Female adults in general.
      ‘woman is intuitive’
      • ‘The late medieval picture of lustful woman was replaced by a view of woman as pure and gentle.’
      • ‘The exhibition title 'She-Flesh-Spirit' describes woman as a being simultaneously sexual and spiritual.’
      • ‘Transgressing the boundaries of high and low, she offers a representation of woman as both sensual and limitless.’
      • ‘The young man depends on the idea of woman as mother for his emotional stability.’
      • ‘It is woman and not man who is primarily responsible for the things that liberate us from the conventional.’
      • ‘Woman is man's joy and all his bliss.’
      • ‘Woman is the equal of man.’
      • ‘Woman is not an object of male desire but as much a person in herself as man is.’
      • ‘Erasmus is not consistent in his opinion of woman, as either a spiritual or a political creature.’
      • ‘This chapter examines the new portrayal of 'political woman'.’
    4. 1.4A disrespectful form of address to a woman.
      ‘don't be daft, woman!’
      • ‘For God's sake, woman, it's a tweed skirt and a polo neck with a pair of boots.’
      • ‘God, woman. Will you just listen?’
      • ‘Come on, woman, please stop arguing.’
      • ‘Open your eyes, woman, and tell me what you see.’
      • ‘Do you ever slow down, woman?’
    5. 1.5 dated A female person who is paid to clean someone's house and carry out other domestic duties.
      • ‘a daily woman’
    6. 1.6A person's wife, girlfriend, or female lover.
      • ‘he wondered whether Billy had his woman with him’
      girlfriend, girl, partner, significant other
      View synonyms
    7. 1.7A person with the qualities traditionally associated with females.
      • ‘I feel more of a woman by empowering myself to do what is right for me’
    8. 1.8in singular A female individual; one.
      • ‘with that money, a woman could buy a house and put two kids through college’



/ˈwo͝omən/ /ˈwʊmən/


    a woman's woman
    • A woman who is more popular and at ease with other women than with men.

      • ‘I am a woman's woman who likes to encourage my fellow women leaders to keep going’
    as — as the next woman
    • As — as the average woman.

      • ‘I can be as skeptical as the next woman’
    be someone's woman
    • Be the woman perfectly suited to a particular requirement or task.

      • ‘if you want a business partner to show you the ropes, then I'm your woman’
    be woman enough to do
    • Be brave enough to do.

      ‘I'm woman enough to admit when I'm wrong’
      • ‘she has proven to be woman enough for the job’
    my good woman
    British dated
    • A patronizing form of address to a woman.

      ‘you're mistaken, my good woman’
      • ‘Now, my good woman, could you be so kind as to tell us where the inn of this quaint town is?’
      • ‘And Marushka said, ‘Oh, my good woman, how can I go home when my father is unhappy with me?’’
      • ‘‘Very well, my good woman; I know what is proper,’ replied I, assuming an important air.’
      • ‘Little Snow-white looked out of the window and called out, ‘Good-day my good woman, what have you to sell?’’
      • ‘Then Judge Tyler stepped forward: ‘What would you say, my good woman, if I were to tell you that Patrick Henry fled with the rest of us?’’
      • ‘The soldiers looked up and replied, ‘Stone soup, my good woman, a wondrous dish and so, so much better if we were to have a single onion or two to drop herein!’’
      • ‘Mr. Fogg took out the twenty guineas he had just won at whist, and handed them to the beggar, saying, ‘Here, my good woman.’’
      • ‘‘Wait a bit, my good woman,’ says he, ‘and see what I have to say to you when I get home.’’
      • ‘He examined them all, lifted them up and smelled them, and said at last: ‘This jam seems good, weigh me four ounces of it, my good woman; and even if it's a quarter of a pound I won't stick at it.’’
      • ‘But this advice comes too late for you, my dear woman, and we must deal with the situation at hand.’
    separate the women from the girls
    • Show or prove which women in a group are truly competent, brave, or mature.

      • ‘these are the situations that separate the women from the girls’
    the little woman
    • A condescending way of referring to one's wife.

      ‘male fisherfolk who take their catch home for the little woman to gut’
      • ‘Of course, Sabitha could have been a stay-at-home, following her husband around the State wherever his posting took him, minding the children - a daughter and son - and being the little woman.’
      • ‘Sadly, that's not quite the view of some of the dinosaurs in the business world, who still seem to rate top management material according to the credentials of the little woman who irons his shirts and decorates his arm at corporate dinners.’
      • ‘They were the sort of places the little woman would go off to now and then, usually with a girlfriend in tow.’
      • ‘Often dismissed as Joyce's little woman, Nora emerges in Murphy's film as his easy equal, in force of character if not education.’
      • ‘Mel's birthday was the next day and what did Antonio get his little woman?’
      • ‘Sorry the little woman got scared, but pour yourselves some drinks and try to have a chuckle about it, like the rest of us.’
      • ‘So, the chump is scared of me and his little woman is handling his affairs.’
      • ‘The guy can pretend to be all macho and manly, be protective of the little woman, and then when it's really needed you can't rely on them cause they're too busy off in the corner crying like a baby.’
    the woman on the street
    • An ordinary woman, with regard to their opinions, or as distinct from an expert.

      • ‘the survey asks a variety of questions to find out what the woman on the street really thinks about saving for retirement.’
    woman about town
    • A fashionable female socialite.

      • ‘for years it was the place to shop for the smart woman about town’
    woman of God
    • 1A clergywoman.

      1. 1.1A holy woman or saint.
    woman of honor
    • A woman who adheres to what is right or to a high standard of conduct.

      • ‘that she resigned at all means she is a woman of honor’
    woman of letters
    • A female scholar or author.

      ‘The Académie Goncourt, founded under the will of Edmond de Goncourt, is a body of ten men or women of letters which awards an annual money prize for imaginative prose.’
      • ‘And just as we have noted that Weelkes's text authors were men or women of letters, it is now evident that Weelkes himself was as well.’
      • ‘‘The literary’ in turn signifies not high modernist art, but rather the ‘writing practices’ of women of letters at the turn of the twentieth century.’
      • ‘They were literally men and women of letters and the group was tied together, not only by their emotional connections and daily conversations, but also by the writing of journals and letters.’
      • ‘The rebellion was, as all biographers agree, necessary that the woman of letters might emerge.’
      • ‘Fuller was America's first public intellectual woman of letters.’
      • ‘It's difficult to tell, but perhaps we could have expected a woman of letters, whose name adorns the cover of the 1997 novel Swan, to grasp the Shavian reference.’
      • ‘Is it then just women of letters, and of a certain income, like Enright and Cusk, who have the luxury of such a complex reaction to motherhood?’
      • ‘Based on the model of Susanna Haswell Rowson, a predecessor of Hentz's as an American woman of letters, the play was entitled De Lara; or, the Moorish Bride: A Tragedy in Five Acts.’
      • ‘Already a famous woman of letters who had written A Treatise on the Influence of the Passions on the Happiness of Individuals and Nations, she became his companion for twelve years.’
      • ‘She was determined to remake herself as a woman of letters.’
      • ‘You are obviously a woman of letters, but do you know anything about a car's engine?’
    woman of the cloth
    • A clergywoman.

    woman of the house
    • The female head of a household.

    woman of the moment
    • A woman of importance at a particular time.

      • ‘she is the woman of the moment right now in Hollywood’
    woman of the streets
    euphemistic, dated
    • A prostitute.

      ‘It was my job to tend the sick in the hospitals, to advise the women of the streets of their evil ways from the cover of a cowl, to tend the incense and candles in the cathedral.’
      • ‘If that does not work, they can become women of the streets.’
      • ‘That guy has more wiles than a woman of the streets,’ he thought with disgust.’
      • ‘Formerly a woman of the streets, elevated by Count Chabert to the status of Countess, his wife used his lands and fortune to marry into the aristocracy.’
      • ‘True, if she was a woman of the streets, he would be mad at her, but he'd forgive her.’
    woman to woman
    • In a direct and frank way between two women.

      ‘Alice smiled at her, woman to woman’
      • ‘the hands-on, woman-to-woman relationship’
      • ‘While Clery draws lyrical material from her own experiences with the other sex, Lazariuk employs an earthy voice, guitar and rain stick to express the universality of all relationships - man to woman, woman to woman, man to man.’
      • ‘Once you confront people, and you sit with them and you have a cup of tea, and they see you are not a monster, and you explain person to person, woman to woman, why things are done and how things are done - it changes a lot, their attitude changes.’
      • ‘Finally after months and months we were fighting, woman to woman.’
      • ‘She told me she's enamored with the idea of someday sitting down at a cafe with Seana, chatting woman to woman, as they both smoke.’
      • ‘She had some advice for me about giving birth, woman to woman.’
      • ‘I just wanted to have, well, a chat, man to man, woman to woman, bairn to bairn as I'm sure they put it doon the Wallygate.’
      • ‘Our story starts as Shirley picks up the phone to confront Barbara - woman to woman.’
      • ‘Should she speak to me woman to woman, or enemy to enemy?’
      • ‘If you really want to help her, you will help by example - talking about your own experience woman to woman, friend to friend.’
      • ‘She also wanted to talk, woman to woman, about how the day went.’


Old English wīfmon, -man(see wife, man), a formation peculiar to English, the ancient word being wife.