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early 14c., from Old French femelle (12c.) "woman, female," from Medieval Latin femella "a female," from Latin femella "young female, girl," diminutive of femina "woman" (see feminine).
Sense extended in Vulgar Latin from humans to female of other animals. Spelling altered late 14c. on mistaken parallel of male. As an adjective, from early 14c. Reference to sockets, etc., is from 1660s.
female fe·male (fē'māl')
Of, relating to, or denoting the sex that produces ova or bears young. n.
A member of the sex that produces ova or bears young.
A woman or girl.
Noun A female organism.