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 in humans and other animals: male hormones; male fashions.
c. Consisting of members of this sex: a male choir.
2. Of or denoting the gamete that is smaller and more motile than the other corresponding gamete. Used of anisogamous organisms.
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, designed for insertion into another part or a socket.
1. A male organism.
2. A man or boy.
[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman masle, male, from Latin masculus, diminutive of mās, male.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.