masculine

(redirected from masculines)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.

masculine

[′mas·kyə·lən]
(biology)
Having an appearance or qualities distinctive for a male.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
(1) In the chapter of Le Bon Usage devoted to nouns, Grevisse addresses the gender issue, referring first to natural gender (male beings are given the masculine gender, female beings the feminine) and then to grammatical gender, (2) where a gender is applied to an item which has no gender.
Numerous nouns referring to living beings (humans and animals) offer a basic masculine name and a feminine ending for the female representatives: le president / la presidente, le chanteur / la chanteuse, le chat / la chatte, le chien / la chienne.
(9) Butterflies, snails, and fish, on the other hand, are masculine. To specify the actual gender of these epicene beasts, circumlocutions such as la grenouille male are required, and though these do not shock native speakers at all, they come across to non-natives as something akin to "a male female." (10) This phenomenon is not limited to the animal kingdom.
After a brief passage on what he calls hermaphroditic nouns (those masculine terms which in legal usage refer indifferently to men and to women), Grevisse moves on to what I term bisexual nouns, that is to say, nouns that, depending on meaning or context, can be preceded by either le or la.
In both these cases, the masculine term derives from Greek, and the feminine one from Latin.
A brief sample for the brave reader: aigle 'eagle' will be masculine when referring to the living bird, but feminine when referring to the bird in heraldry.