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[mas-kyuh-lin] /ˈmæs kyə lɪn/
pertaining to or characteristic of a man or men:
masculine attire.
having qualities traditionally ascribed to men, as strength and boldness.
Grammar. noting or pertaining to the gender of Latin, Greek, German, French, Spanish, Hebrew, etc., which has among its members most nouns referring to males, as well as other nouns, as Spanish dedo, “finger,” German Bleistift, “pencil.”.
(of a woman) mannish.
noun, Grammar
the masculine gender.
a noun or other element in or marking that gender.
Origin of masculine
1300-50; Middle English masculin < Latin masculīnus, equivalent to mascul(us) male (mās male + -culus -cule1) + -īnus -ine1
Related forms
masculinely, adverb
masculinity, masculineness, noun
hypermasculine, adjective
hypermasculinely, adverb
hypermasculineness, noun
hypermasculinity, noun
nonmasculine, adjective
nonmasculinely, adverb
nonmasculineness, noun
nonmasculinity, noun
pseudomasculine, adjective
supermasculine, adjective
supermasculinity, noun
ultramasculine, adjective
unmasculine, adjective
unmasculinely, adverb
Can be confused
male, masculine, macho (see synonym study at male)
2. manly. See male. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for masculinity
  • Everyone please join the comments and discuss these creepy spectacles of failed masculinity.
  • The beard is also a blatant and almost primal expression of masculinity.
  • Colleges face a challenge to masculinity that bulging muscles, rumbling voices, and jacked-up pickup trucks won't remedy.
  • The mice were compared with normal males in tests of masculinity.
  • The pathetic posturing of in-your-face macho has replaced a once self-confident masculinity.
  • Without that dignity, masculinity is an empty shell.
  • Heinlein was decades ahead of his time in the way he played with preconceptions about masculinity and femininity.
  • Instead, she became a journalist and a cultural critic, fascinated by icons of masculinity and femininity.
  • Call it a moral quandary hatched by masculinity issues.
  • There is something incredibly attractive about his power and masculinity.
British Dictionary definitions for masculinity


possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a man; manly
  1. denoting a gender of nouns, occurring in many inflected languages, that includes all kinds of referents as well as some male animate referents
  2. (as noun): German ``Weg'' is a masculine
Derived Forms
masculinely, adverb
masculinity, (rare) masculineness, noun
Word Origin
C14: via French from Latin masculīnus, from masculus male, from mās a male
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 masculinity

1748; see masculine + -ity. Earlier in same sense was masculineness (1660s).



mid-14c., "belonging to the male grammatical gender;" late 14c., "of men, male," from Old French masculin "of the male sex" (12c.), from Latin masculinus "male, of masculine gender," from masculus "male, masculine; worthy of a man," diminutive of mas (genitive maris) "male person, male," of unknown origin. Meaning "having the appropriate qualities of the male sex, manly, virile, powerful" is first attested 1620s. As a noun from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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masculinity in Medicine

masculinity mas·cu·lin·i·ty (mās'kyə-lĭn'ĭ-tē)

  1. The quality or condition of being masculine.

  2. Something traditionally considered to be characteristic of a male.

masculine mas·cu·line (mās'kyə-lĭn)

  1. Of or relating to men or boys; male.

  2. Suggestive or characteristic of a man.

mas'cu·line·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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