Female fern

Female fern

Female fern\ (Bot.), a common species of fern with large decompound fronds (Asplenium Filixf[ae]mina), growing in many countries; lady fern.

Note: The names male fern and female fern were anciently given to two common ferns; but it is now understood that neither has any sexual character.

Syn: Female, Feminine.

Usage: We apply female to the sex or individual, as opposed to male; also, to the distinctive belongings of women; as, female dress, female form, female character, etc.; feminine, to things appropriate to, or affected by, women; as, feminine studies, employments, accomplishments, etc. "Female applies to sex rather than gender, and is a physiological rather than a grammatical term. Feminine applies to gender rather than sex, and is grammatical rather than physiological." --Latham.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
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