Definition of girl in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɡəːl/


1A female child: girls go through puberty earlier than boys
More 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: 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: I haven’t got the time to meet girls
More 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.
young woman, young lady, miss;
Scottish  lass, lassie;
Irish  colleen;
French mademoiselle;
Italian signorina;
Spanish señorita;
German Fräulein
informal chick, girlie, filly
British informal bird, bint, popsy
North American informal gal, broad, dame, jane, babe, sister
derogatory, informal tart, piece, bit, mare, baggage
Australian/New Zealand informal sheila
British informal, dated Judy
North American dated frail
offensive bitch
literary maid, maiden, damsel, demoiselle
archaic wench, petticoat
2.1 [with modifier] A young woman of a specified kind or having a specified job: a career 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: I look forward to having a night 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.
girlfriend, sweetheart, woman, partner, lover, significant other, fiancée;
Italian inamorata
informal steady, WAGs (wives and girlfriends)
Irish informal mot
British informal boyf, girlf
North American informal squeeze, patootie
Australian informal dona
Indian informal bibi
dated lady, lady friend, lady love, young lady, betrothed
archaic leman
2.4 dated A female servant.


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

  • 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, whorl ballgirl, call

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: girl

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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