Share this entry

Share this page

girl

Syllabification: girl
Pronunciation: /ɡərl
 
/

Definition of girl in English:

noun

1A female child.
Example sentences
  • What then happens to efforts to increase female literacy and encourage girls to go to school?
  • Schools were segregated and male teachers were replaced by females at girls ' schools.
  • He and a female pedestrian comforted the girl at the roadside, and contacted the police.
1.1A person’s daughter, especially a young one: he was devoted to his little girl
More example sentences
  • She has five grandchildren, her daughter's two girls and her son's three boys.
  • They enjoyed a break away with their daughter Samantha and her twin girls Rebecca and Crystal.
  • I have a lot of issues about my ex girlfriend and my little girl.
2A young or relatively young woman.
Example sentences
  • Because the Burman traditionally do not date, it is difficult for young boys and girls to meet.
  • In years gone by a young man and a young girl would meet and like what they saw and would start to go out with each other.
  • While sneaking out of work I met two young girls, around the ages fourteen and fifteen.
Synonyms
young woman, young lady, miss, mademoiselle;
ingénue;
Scottish lass, lassie
informal chick, gal, grrrl, babe
literary maid, damsel
2.1 [with modifier] A young woman of a specified kind or having a specified job: a career girl a chorus girl
More example sentences
  • He was such a nice lad at university, and there he was gleefully encouraging the undercover reporter girl to con the electorate.
  • According to the police, he had been secretly baptized by a Gentile servant girl years before.
  • Elijah put away his weapon and exchanged glances with the Prince and the young slave girl.
2.2 (girls) informal Women who mix socially or belong to a particular group, team, or profession: I look forward to having lunch with the girls
2.3A person’s girlfriend: his girl eloped with an accountant
More example sentences
  • The worst moment was when I rang up one day to take out my daughter and my girl refused to let me see her, because of the mess that I was in.
  • Coachman Tom and his girl Nance were due to marry when she left him for another.
2.4 dated A female servant.

Origin

Middle English (denoting a child or young person of either sex): perhaps related to Low German gör 'child'.

More
  • The origin of girl is not known for certain. It could once refer to a child or young person of either sex—not until the 16th century was a female child specified. The variant gal started to appear in the late 18th century. The phrase the girl next door, describing an ordinary and likeable young woman, was popularized by a film of that name in 1953. A girl Friday is a female assistant or secretary—it derives from the name of Man Friday in Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe ( 1719), who helped the shipwrecked Crusoe, and was given publicity by the 1940 film His Girl Friday, although it had been in use since the 1920s.

Words that rhyme with girl

birl, burl, churl, curl, earl, Erle, furl, herl, hurl, knurl, merle, pas seul, pearl, purl, Searle, skirl, squirl, swirl, twirl, whirl, whorlballgirl, call

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day snarf
Pronunciation: snɑːf
verb
eat or drink quickly or greedily