male (māl) adjective
Abbr. m., M.
1. a. Of, relating to, or designating the sex that has organs to produce spermatozoa for fertilizing ova. b. Characteristic of or appropriate to this sex; masculine. c. Consisting of members of this sex.
2. Virile; manly.
3. Botany. a. Relating to or designating organs, such as anthers or antheridia, that produce gametes capable of fertilizing those produced by female organs. b. Bearing stamens but not pistils; staminate: male flowers.
4. Designating an object, such as an electric plug, configured for insertion into a fitted bore or socket.
1. A member of the sex that begets young by fertilizing ova.
2. A man or boy.
3. Botany. A plant having only staminate flowers.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin māsculus diminutive of mās, male.]
Synonyms: male, masculine, manlike, manly, manful, virile, mannish. These adjectives mean of, relating to, characteristic of, or appropriate to men. Male, like female, categorizes by sex; the term is not limited in application to human beings: a male infant; a male dachshund. Masculine as the opposite of feminine often refers to what is considered characteristic of men: a masculine appearance; masculine attire. Manlike usually suggests qualities belonging or held by some to be proper to a man (manlike physical strength); often, however, it merely indicates resemblance to a human being (manlike apes). Manly connotes qualities regarded as becoming to a man: manly power in combat. Manful suggests bravery and resoluteness: We made a manful effort to redress the grievance. Virile stresses the spirit, strength, vigor, power, or sexual potency of an adult male: "The virile figure of Theodore Roosevelt swung down the national highway" (Edward Bok). Mannish usually applies to women or their traits, clothing, or actions when they are suggestive of what is deemed by some to be more proper to a man than to a woman: a mannish cut to the suit; a mannish gait.