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A woman.
Various women.


From Средњи Енглески woman, from earlier wifman. The Middle English forms are from Стари Енглески wīfmann (woman, literally female person), a compound of wīf (woman, whence Енглески wife) +‎ mann (person, whence Енглески man). For details on the pronunciation and spelling history, see the usage notes below.

Cognate with Шкотски woman, weman. Compare Saterland Frisian Wieuwmoanske (female person; female human). Similar constructions can be found in West Frisian frommes (woman, girl) (from frou and minske, literally "woman human").

A few alternative spellings (see below) respell the term so as not to contain man.



woman (plural women)

  1. An adult female human.
    • 1887, Helen Campbell, Prisoners of poverty: their trades and their lives, strana 120:
      But this woman is a nice German woman that fell on the ice and sprained her ankle last winter, and we saw to her well as we could till she got better.
    • 1888 септембар 6, Michigan School Moderator, strana 402, column 3:
      Dr. J. H. Vincent, the great lecturer, says that a man's greatness consists in his courage; his inherent nobleness; his noble deeds, great exploits, and benefits to the world; but that behind every great man is a great woman - his mother.
    • 1978, Ashford & Simpson (lyrics and music), “I’m Every Woman”, in Chaka, performed by Chaka Khan:
      Cause I'm every woman / It's all in me
    • 1979, Muriel Lederer, Blue-collar jobs for women, strana 59:
      During World War II, many women worked as blacksmiths in the shipbuilding industry and found they liked the challenging, independent work.
    • 2012, Kate Welsh, Substitute Daddy (→ISBN):
      "There is nothing wrong with Melissa or the way she was raised. She is a sweet, kind, intelligent woman with a generous heart and more love for her child than you and Mother ever showed for either of your children."
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Цитати:woman.
  2. (collective) All female humans collectively; womankind.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure[1]:
      `Listen, Holly. Thou art a good and honest man, and I fain would spare thee; but, oh! it is so hard for woman to be merciful.'
    • Шаблон:RQ:Hough Purchase Price
    • 1972, Helen Reddy, "I Am Woman," first line:
      I am Woman, hear me roar / In numbers too big to ignore
    • 1997, Bob Grant, Let's Be Heard, page 42:
      For if modern woman is so intent on keeping her surname alive, why not demand it be passed along to her children?
    • 2011, Eileen Gray and the Design of Sapphic Modernity: Staying In, page 109:
      Unsurprisingly, if modern man is a sort of camera, modern woman is a picture.
  3. A female person, usually an adult; a (generally adult) female sentient being, whether human, supernatural, elf, alien, etc.
    • 2003, Amelia Jones, The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, Psychology Press (→ISBN), page 37:
      To be born a woman has been to be born, within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men.
    • 2007, Clifford B. Bowyer, The Siege of Zoldex, Silver Leaf Books, LLC (→ISBN), page 307:
      One of the elves, a woman with long auburn hair, was garbed identically to the two dwarves.
    • 2008, Christopher Paolini, Brisingr: Or The Seven Promises of Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Bjartskular - Inheritance Book Three (→ISBN), page 549:
      Clearing a space between the tables, the men tested their prowess against one another with feats of wrestling and archery and bouts with quarterstaves. Two of the elves, a man and a woman, demonstrated their skill with swordplay— []
    • 2012, Merlin Stone, When God Was A Woman:
      At the very dawn of religion, God was a woman.
    • 2014, Oisin McGann, Kings of the Realm: Cruel Salvation, Penguin UK (→ISBN):
      There was a pair of burly dwarves – a woman and a man – bearing the markings of the formidable Thane Guards.
  4. A wife (or sometimes a fiancée or girlfriend).
    • 1914, D. H. Lawrence, Study of Thomas Hardy and Other Essays, chapter 7: "Of Being and Not-Being":
      And then, when he lies with his woman, the man may concurrently be with God, and so get increase of his soul.
  5. A female person who is extremely fond of or devoted to a specified type of thing. (Used as the last element of a compound.)
    • 2004, Hyveth Williams, Secrets of a Happy Heart: A Fresh Look at the Sermon on the Mount, page 70:
      Perhaps my problem is that I am a cat woman. I can't imagine any finicky feline (and they all are that at one time or another) slobbering over anyone, even a beloved owner, the way a dog does.
  6. A female attendant or servant.

Usage notes

The current pronunciation of the first vowel of the singular began to appear in western England in the 13th century under the rounding influence of the w, though the older pronunciation with /i/ (→ modern /ɪ/) remained in use into the 15th century. Although the vowel of the plural was sometimes also altered to /u/ (→ modern /ʊ/) beginning in the 14th century, the pronunciation with /ɪ/ ultimately won out there, possibly under the influence of pairs like foot-feet. However, many speakers (especially of New Zealand English or South African English) have either retained or reinnovated the pronunciation of the plural with /ʊ/. The modern spelling women for the plural is due to influence of the singular; it is attested from the 15th century.

For a time in the 16th and 17th centuries, the pronunciation of the singular sometimes drifted even further back towards /uː/ or /ɔː~oː/ (→ modern /oʊ~əʊ/) and the plural sometimes drifted even further forward towards /iː/, leading to comparisons of the words to "woe man" or "we men".)[1][2][3][4]

Alternative forms




Coordinate terms

Derived terms

Derived terms of woman without hyponyms

Related terms


  • Antigua and Barbuda Creole English: uman
  • Aukan: uman
  • Krio: uman
  • Sranan Tongo: uma; oema (superseded)
  • Torres Strait Creole: oman
  • Јапански: ウーマン (ūman)
  • Корејски: 우먼 (umeon)
  • Volapük: vom




woman (third-person singular simple present womans, present participle womaning or womanning, simple past and past participle womaned or womanned)

  1. To staff with female labor.
    • 1813, “Yorkshire Assizes. May a woman be deemed a sailor sufficient in manning a vessel? Case of Insurance.—Cook v. Thompson.”, in The Literary Panorama, [], volume XIV, London: [] Cox and Baylis, [] for C[harles] Taylor, [], strana 683:
      [] he should prove, from the testimony of the most experienced seamen, that the vessel was, if not, strictly speaking, sufficiently manned, yet that she was sufficiently manned and womanned. The Gypsey was a vessel of 43 tons burden, and there were on board two able seamen and the Captain’s wife, who was a very good sailor;
    • 1956, Rex Stout, Three Witnesses, The Viking Press, strana 54:
      Apparently the Sixty-ninth Street office of Bagby Answers, Inc., was being womaned for the day from other offices.
    • 1990, Stephen King, The stand: the complete & uncut edition:
      Gus Dinsmore, the public beach parking lot attendent, said he guessed that so many cars must be just stopped dead along the road that even those manned (or womaned) by able drivers would be unable to move.
    • 2010, Julia Glass, The Widower's Tale, page 77
      The information desk is now manned (womaned) by someone whose main job is to help you reserve time slots for the computers or guide you through the arduous process of “logging on.”
  2. (transitive) To make effeminate or womanish.
  3. (transitive) To furnish with, or unite to, a woman.
  4. (transitive) To call (a person) "woman" in a disrespectful fashion.


See also


woman (not comparable)

  1. (particularly Nigeria, India, sometimes proscribed) of of relating to a woman/women; female
    • 1985, Anthony King, The British Prime Minister, Duke University Press, →ISBN:
      But of course Britain since 1979 has had a woman prime minister, while no woman has ever come near to being president of the United States.
    • 2020 август 18, Veronica Chambers; The Staff of The New York Times, Finish The Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, HarperCollins, →ISBN:
      You can't spend months studying the history of the suffrage movement without gaining a new appreciation for the grit and gumption it takes to be a powerful woman leader.

Usage notes

While the use of "woman" as an adjective has been increasing in the United States, mainly due to the same reasons that the use of "female" as a noun is perceived as dehumanizing by a significant portion of people (too clinical and zoological), American grammarians and style guides often proscribe/reject its use in this manner.[5][6][7][8]


  1. Eric John Dobson, English Pronunciation, volume 2 (1957), page 574
  2. woman” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2023. / “woman” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
  3. Шаблон:R:Oxford English Dictionary
  4. Christopher Upward, George Davidson, The History of English Spelling (2011), section "O"
  5. Waldman, Katy (18 February 2016). „Is Hillary Trying to Be the First Woman President, Female President, or Lady President?“. Slate Magazine Приступљено 2022-05-27 
  6. Norris, Mary (30 May 2019). „Female Trouble: The Debate Over “Woman” as an Adjective“. The New Yorker Приступљено 2022-05-27 
  7. „Using 'Lady,' 'Woman,' and 'Female' to Modify Nouns“. Merriam Webster Приступљено 2022-05-27 
  8. „AP Stylebook: Use female, not woman, as an adjective. For example: She is the first female governor of North Carolina. Treatment of the sexes should be evenhanded and free of assumptions and stereotypes.“. Twitter. July 27, 2020 Приступљено 2022-05-27 




woman m

  1. obsolete form of oman (elecampane)Script error: The function "template_categorize" does not exist., obsolete spelling of voman (elecampane)
    • 1820, Bedřich Všemír hrabě z Berchtoldu, O přirozenosti rostlin, aneb rostlinâř[2], volume 1, Prague: Jos. Krause, strana 142:
      Škrobu welmi podobná hmota zdá se býti womanina (inulinum), kterauž P. Vauquelin w kořenu Womanu lekařského (Inula helenium) nalezl.
      A substance similar to starch seems to be the elecampine (inulinum) which already P. Vauquelin has found in the root of the officinal inula (Inula helenium).


Middle English


woman (plural women)

  1. Alternative form of womman

Upper Sorbian

woman - Inula helenium


From Прасловенски *omanъ.



woman m

  1. inula, elecampane (Inula spp., especially Inula helenium)



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woman (енглески)


IPA: [...]  
Аудио: noicon(датотека)

Морфолошке варијације:

woman, множина: women

Значења: {{{1}}}

[1] жена


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[1] woman

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