Definition of woman noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



plural women
1 [countable] an adult female humanmen, women, and childrena 24-year-old womanI prefer to see a woman doctor.women voters2 [uncountable, singular] female humans in general(informal)She's all woman! (= has qualities that are typical of women)These days, a woman should not have to do everything her husband demands.3 [countable] (in compounds) a woman who comes from the place mentioned or whose job or interest is connected with the thing mentioneda businesswomana Congresswomana horsewoman note at gender4 [countable] a female worker, especially one who works with her handsWe used to have a woman to do the cleaning.5 [singular] (old-fashioned) a rude way of addressing a female person in an angry or important wayBe quiet, woman!6 [countable] (sometimes disapproving) a wife or sexual partnerHe's got a new woman in his life. see also fallen woman, kept woman, other womanIDIOMS

be your own man/woman

to act or think independently, not following others or being ordered
Working for herself meant that she could be her own your own manbe your own woman

a gentleman/lady/man/woman of leisure

(humorous) a man/woman who does not have to worka gentleman/man/woman of leisurea lady/man/woman of leisure

hell hath no fury (like a woman scorned)

used to refer to someone, usually a woman, who has reacted very angrily to something, especially the fact that her husband or lover has been unfaithful
hell hath no furyhell hath no fury like a woman scorned

like a man/woman possessed


like one possessed

with a lot of force or energy
He flew out of the room like a man a man possessedlike a woman possessed

make an honest woman of someone

(old-fashioned, humorous) to marry a woman after having had a sexual relationship with hermake an honest woman of

a man/woman after your own heart

a man/woman who likes the same things or has the same opinions as you
a man after your own hearta woman after your own heart

a man/woman of (many) parts

a person with many skills
a man of partsa man of many partsa woman of partsa woman of many parts

a man/woman of substance

(formal) a rich and powerful man or womana man of substancea woman of substance

a man/woman of the world

a person with a lot of experience of life, who is not easily surprised or shocked
a man of the worlda woman of the world

the man (and/or woman) on the street

an average or ordinary person, either male or female
Politicians often don't understand the views of the man on the street.the man on the streetthe man and woman on the streetthe man on the streetthe man or woman on the street
Usage noteUsage note: genderways of talking about men and womenWhen you are writing or speaking English, it is important to use language that includes both men and women equally. Some people may be very offended if you do not.the human raceMan and mankind have traditionally been used to mean “all men and women.” Many people now prefer to use humanity, the human race, human beings, or people.jobsThe suffix -ess in names of occupations such as actress, hostess, and waitress shows that the person doing the job is a woman. Many people now avoid these. Instead, you can use actor or host, (although actress and hostess are still very common) or a neutral word, such as server for waiter and waitress.Neutral words like assistant, worker, person, or officer are now often used instead of -man or -woman in the names of jobs. For example, you can use police officer instead of policeman or policewoman, and spokesperson instead of spokesman or spokeswoman. Neutral words are very common in newspapers, on television and radio, and in official writing.When talking about jobs that are traditionally done by the other sex, some people say:a male secretary/nurse/model or a femaledoctor/scientist/driver. However, this is now not usually used unless you need to emphasize which sex the person is or it is still unusual for the job to be done by a man/woman: My daughter prefers to see a female doctor. They have a male nanny for their sons.pronounsHe used to be considered to cover both men and women: Everyone needs to feel he is loved. This is not now acceptable. Instead, after everyone, everybody, anyone, anybody, someone, somebody, etc. one of the plural pronouns they, them, and their is often used: Does everybody know what they want? Somebody’s left their coat here. I hope nobody’s forgotten to bring their passport with them.Some people prefer to use he or she, his or her, or him or her in speech and writing: Everyone knows what’s best for him or herself.He/she or (s)he can also be used in writing: If in doubt, ask your doctor. He/she can give you more information. (You may find that some writers just use “she” or alternate between “he” and “she.”) These uses can seem awkward when they are used a lot. It is better to try to change the sentence, using a plural noun. Instead of saying: A baby cries when he or she is tired, you can say Babies cry when they are tired.Usage noteUsage note: honestdirect open outspoken straight blunt frankThese words all describe people saying exactly what they mean without trying to hide feelings, opinions, or facts.honest not hiding the truth about something: Thank you for being so honest with saying exactly what you mean in a way that nobody can pretend not to understand: You'll have to get used to his direct manner.note Being direct is sometimes considered positive but sometimes it is used as a “polite” way of saying that someone is (approving) (of a person) not keeping thoughts and feelings hidden: He was quite open about his reasons for leaving.outspoken saying exactly what you think, even if this shocks or offends people: She was outspoken in her criticism of the plan.straight honest and direct: I don't think you're being straight with me.blunt saying exactly what you think without trying to be polite: She has a reputation for being blunt.frank (somewhat formal) honest in what you say, sometimes in a way that other people might not like: To be frank with you, I think your son has little chance of passing the exam.which word?Honest and frank refer to what you say as much as how you say it: a(n) honest/frank admission of guilt. They are generally positive words, although it is possible to be too frank in a way that other people might not like.Direct, outspoken, and blunt all describe someone's manner of saying what they think.Outspoken suggests that you are willing to shock people by saying what you believe to be right.Blunt and direct often suggest that you think honesty is more important than being polite.Open is positive and describes someone's character: I'm a very open person.patternshonest/direct/open/outspoken/straight/frank about somethinghonest/direct/open/straight/blunt/frank with someonea(n) honest/direct/straight/blunt answera direct/blunt/frank manner