Female fern
Female Fe"male, a. 1. Belonging to the sex which conceives and gives birth to young, or (in a wider sense) which produces ova; not male. [1913 Webster]

As patient as the female dove When that her golden couplets are disclosed. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Belonging to an individual of the female sex; characteristic of woman; feminine; as, female tenderness. ``Female usurpation.'b8 --Milton. [1913 Webster]

To the generous decision of a female mind, we owe the discovery of America. --Belknap. [1913 Webster]

3. (Bot.) Having pistils and no stamens; pistillate; or, in cryptogamous plants, capable of receiving fertilization. [1913 Webster]

{Female rhymes} (Pros.), double rhymes, or rhymes (called in French feminine rhymes because they end in e weak, or feminine) in which two syllables, an accented and an unaccented one, correspond at the end of each line. [1913 Webster]

Note: A rhyme, in which the final syllables only agree (strain, complain) is called a male rhyme; one in which the two final syllables of each verse agree, the last being short (motion, ocean), is called female. --Brande & C.

{Female screw}, the spiral-threaded cavity into which another, or male, screw turns. --Nicholson.

{Female fern} (Bot.), a common species of fern with large decompound fronds ({Asplenium Filixf[ae]mina}), growing in many countries; lady fern. [1913 Webster]

Note: The names male fern and female fern were anciently given to two common ferns; but it is now understood that neither has any sexual character.

Syn: {Female}, {Feminine}.

Usage: We apply female to the sex or individual, as opposed to male; also, to the distinctive belongings of women; as, female dress, female form, female character, etc.; feminine, to things appropriate to, or affected by, women; as, feminine studies, employments, accomplishments, etc. ``Female applies to sex rather than gender, and is a physiological rather than a grammatical term. Feminine applies to gender rather than sex, and is grammatical rather than physiological.'' --Latham. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • female fern — noun 1. : lady fern 2. : the common brake (Pteridium aquilinum) …   Useful english dictionary

  • Female — Fe male, a. 1. Belonging to the sex which conceives and gives birth to young, or (in a wider sense) which produces ova; not male. [1913 Webster] As patient as the female dove When that her golden couplets are disclosed. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Female rhymes — Female Fe male, a. 1. Belonging to the sex which conceives and gives birth to young, or (in a wider sense) which produces ova; not male. [1913 Webster] As patient as the female dove When that her golden couplets are disclosed. Shak. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Female screw — Female Fe male, a. 1. Belonging to the sex which conceives and gives birth to young, or (in a wider sense) which produces ova; not male. [1913 Webster] As patient as the female dove When that her golden couplets are disclosed. Shak. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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