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[mem-ber] /ˈmɛm bər/
a person, animal, plant, group, etc., that is part of a society, party, community, taxon, or other body.
  1. a member of Congress, especially of the House of Representatives.
  2. a member of the British Parliament, especially of the House of Commons.
  3. any member of a legislative body.
a part or organ of an animal body; a limb, as a leg, arm, or wing.
Botany. a structural entity of a plant body.
the penis.
a constituent part of any structural or composite whole, as a subordinate architectural feature of a building.
  1. either side of an equation.
  2. an element of a set.
Geology. a stratigraphic unit recognized within a formation, and mapped as such.
being a member of or having membership in an association, organization, etc.:
member countries of the United Nations.
1250-1300; Middle English membre < Old French < Latin membrum
Related forms
memberless, adjective
submember, noun
6. element, portion. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for member
  • The single member of the clan or the individual citizen was completely merged in the unity of the tribe or the state.
  • During the introspective, achingly beautiful fourth movement, an audience member's cellphone loudly rang.
  • The others are talking about me as a problem family member, so expectations build up in the audience.
  • Tunes written in one village would often be given lyrics by a member of a different community.
  • Whenever a member registered, the member's contacts got the message.
  • Because this key member of the brain's fear circuitry can directly sense suffocation, and trigger feelings of terror.
  • His yawning caused a chain reaction of yawns from every member of the pride.
  • The new squid could be an adult member of the species but researchers can't say for certain until they have caught a specimen.
  • The wolverine is a powerful animal that resembles a small bear but is actually the largest member of the weasel family.
  • Ask them to write two paragraphs: one from their perspective and one from the perspective of a member of the other culture.
British Dictionary definitions for member


a person who belongs to a club, political party, etc
any individual plant or animal in a taxonomic group a member of the species
any part of an animal body, such as a limb
another word for penis
any part of a plant, such as a petal, root, etc
(maths) any individual object belonging to a set or logical class
a distinct part of a whole, such as a proposition in a syllogism
a component part of a building or construction
Derived Forms
memberless, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Latin membrum limb, part


noun (sometimes not capital)
short for Member of Congress
a member of some other legislative body
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for member
early 13c., from O.Fr. membre (11c.), from L. membrum "limb, member of the body, part," ptobably from PIE *mems-ro (cf. Goth. mimz "flesh"). Specific sense of "penis" is first recorded mid-14c., from L. membrum virile. In English, "member of the body" is the original sense; that of "person belonging to a group" is first attested early 14c., from notion of "constituent part of a complex structure." Meaning "one who has been elected to parliament" is from mid-15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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member in Medicine

member mem·ber (měm'bər)

  1. A distinct part of a whole.

  2. A part or an organ of a human or animal body, especially a limb.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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member in Science
  1. Mathematics

  2. A quantity that belongs to a set.

  3. The expression on either side of an equal sign.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for member


  1. A fellow black person; brother, sister (1958+ Black)
  2. The penis (1356+)

[second sense a euphemism for the even more euphemistic membrum virile]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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