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[jen-der] /ˈdʒɛn dər/
  1. (in many languages) a set of classes that together include all nouns, membership in a particular class being shown by the form of the noun itself or by the form or choice of words that modify, replace, or otherwise refer to the noun, as, in English, the choice of he to replace the man, of she to replace the woman, of it to replace the table, of it or she to replace the ship. The number of genders in different languages varies from 2 to more than 20; often the classification correlates in part with sex or animateness. The most familiar sets of genders are of three classes (as masculine, feminine, and neuter in Latin and German) or of two (as common and neuter in Dutch, or masculine and feminine in French and Spanish).
  2. one class of such a set.
  3. such classes or sets collectively or in general.
  4. membership of a word or grammatical form, or an inflectional form showing membership, in such a class.
the feminine gender.
Archaic. kind, sort, or class.
1300-50; Middle English < Middle French gendre, genre < Latin gener- (stem of genus) kind, sort
Related forms
genderless, adjective


[jen-der] /ˈdʒɛn dər/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
Archaic. to engender.
Obsolete. to breed.
1300-50; Middle English gendren, genderen < Middle French gendrer < Latin generāre to beget, derivative of genus gender1, genus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gender
  • The apparent link between gender and diet generated buzz.
  • Fisher dismisses talk about her gender and her age.
  • When it comes to gender, women do seem to read more omnivorously than men.
  • Sometimes, I find the courage to pipe up when a bunch of us are assembled and are called ''guys'' by someone of either gender.
  • This gender imbalance is present at most college graduations.
  • In some cases, culture and gender appeared to interact.
  • What they need is gender sensitivity.
  • He said the fight for gender equality is far from over.
  • The question of gender representation in science is an incredibly difficult one.
  • But no nascent hero of either gender becomes effective without a decent apprenticeship.
British Dictionary definitions for gender


a set of two or more grammatical categories into which the nouns of certain languages are divided, sometimes but not necessarily corresponding to the sex of the referent when animate See also natural gender
any of the categories, such as masculine, feminine, neuter, or common, within such a set
(informal) the state of being male, female, or neuter
(informal) all the members of one sex: the female gender
Derived Forms
genderless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French gendre, from Latin genus kind
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 gender

c.1300, "kind, sort, class," from Old French gendre (12c., Modern French genre), from stem of Latin genus (genitive generis) "race, stock, family; kind, rank, order; species," also (male or female) "sex" (see genus) and used to translate Aristotle's Greek grammatical term genos.

The grammatical sense is attested in English from late 14c.; the male-or-female sense from early 15c. As sex took on erotic qualities in 20c., gender came to be the common word used for "sex of a human being," often in feminist writing with reference to social attributes as much as biological qualities; this sense first attested 1963. Gender-bender is first attested 1980, with reference to pop star David Bowie.


"to bring forth," late 14c., from Old French gendrer, from Latin generare "to engender" (see generation). Related: Gendered; gendering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gender in Medicine

gender gen·der (jěn'dər)

  1. The sex of an individual, male or female, based on reproductive anatomy.

  2. Sexual identity, especially in relation to society or culture.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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gender in Culture

gender definition

A grammatical category indicating the sex, or lack of sex, of nouns and pronouns. The three genders are masculine, feminine, and neuter. He is a masculine pronoun; she is a feminine pronoun; it is a neuter pronoun. Nouns are classified by gender according to the gender of the pronoun that can substitute for them. In English, gender is directly indicated only by pronouns.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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