2 entries found for female
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Main Entry: 1fe·male
Etymology: Middle English female
"a girl or woman," an altered form of femel, femelle
(same meaning), from early French femelle
and Latin femella,
both meaning "a girl or woman," from earlier Latin femella
"a young woman, girl," from femina
"woman" --related to FEMININE
a female plant or animalWord History
In the 14th century, female
appeared in English with such spellings as femel, femelle,
The word comes from the Latin femella,
meaning "young woman, girl," which in turn is based on femina,
meaning "woman." In English, the similarity in form and sound between the words female
led people to use only the female
spelling. This closeness also led to the belief that female
comes from or is somehow related to male.
However, apart from the influence of male
on the modern spelling of female,
there is no link between the origins of the two words.
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