Definition of gender in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛndə/


1 [mass noun] The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones): traditional concepts of gender
More example sentences
  • The construction of male and female gender roles was masculinist in nature.
  • It is well established that testosterone in males plays a key role in this gender difference.
  • She thinks the best way to level the playing field is to apply categories based on physical ability rather than gender identity.
1.1 [count noun] The members of one or other sex: differences between the genders are encouraged from an early age
More example sentences
  • Women are also more at risk of poverty than men, although this is reversed when unemployed or retired members of both genders are compared.
  • It's not entirely clear why there is a difference between the genders.
  • Not only do they exist, they ensure their equality with men while recognizing the differences between both genders.
2 Grammar (In languages such as Latin, French, and German) each of the classes (typically masculine, feminine, common, neuter) of nouns and pronouns distinguished by the different inflections which they have and which they require in words syntactically associated with them. Grammatical gender is only very loosely associated with natural distinctions of sex.
Example sentences
  • As is well known, nouns in German are assigned to one of three genders, masculine, feminine, and neuter.
  • Modern English has also lost its system of classifying nouns into three grammatical genders, as still occurs in German.
  • This North Queensland language has four genders: masculine, feminine, edible and neuter.
2.1 [mass noun] The property (in nouns and related words) of belonging to a grammatical gender: determiners and adjectives usually agree with the noun in gender and number
More example sentences
  • It is a rule of Italian that the definite article has to ‘agree’ with the noun in gender.
  • Nouns are marked for gender, number, and case as well as for definite and indefinite forms.


The word gender has been used since the 14th century as a grammatical term, referring to classes of noun designated as masculine, feminine, or neuter in some languages. The sense ‘the state of being male or female’ has also been used since the 14th century, but this did not become common until the mid 20th century. Although the words gender and sex both have the sense ‘the state of being male or female’, they are typically used in slightly different ways: sex tends to refer to biological differences, while gender refers to cultural or social ones.



Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛndələs/
Example sentences
  • The author attempts a genderless consciousness, thus reaching new consciousness for the artist.
  • To prove that searching for work was a genderless activity, he also had to start at the bottom.
  • This genderless God also represents a profound betrayal of the Torah narrative.


Late Middle English: from Old French gendre (modern genre), based on Latin genus 'birth, family, nation'. The earliest meanings were 'kind, sort, genus' and 'type or class of noun, etc.' (which was also a sense of Latin genus).

  • The words gender and engender (Middle English) go back via Old French to Latin genus ‘birth, family, nation’, a word that was reborrowed in the early 17th century for scientific classification, although it had been in use 50 years earlier in logic. In modern French the ‘d’ was lost to produce genre, a word reborrowed in the early 19th century. Generation (Middle English), generate (early 16th century), engender (Middle English), generosity (Late Middle English), genial (mid 16th century), and degenerate (Late Middle English) are all from the same source.

Words that rhyme with gender

addenda, agenda, amender, ascender, attender, blender, Brenda, contender, corrigenda, descender, engender, extender, fazenda, fender, Glenda, Gwenda, hacienda, Länder, lender, mender, offender, pudenda, recommender, referenda, render, sender, slender, spender, splendour (US splendor), surrender, suspender, tender, Venda, weekender, Wenda

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: gen¦der

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