9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
Origin of member
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web 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

late 13c., "sex organ" (cf. Latin membrum virile, but in English originally of women as well as men), also, "body part or organ" (in plural, "the body"), from Old French membre "part, portion; topic, subject; limb, member of the body; member" (of a group, etc.)," 11c., from Latin membrum "limb, member of the body, part," probably from PIE *mems-ro, from root *mems- "flesh, meat" (cf. Sanskrit mamsam "flesh;" Greek meninx "membrane," meros "thigh" (the "fleshy part"); Gothic mimz "flesh"). In English, sense 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 early 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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