Definition of womanhood in US English:

womanhood

noun

  • 1The state or condition of being a woman.

    ‘she was on the very brink of womanhood’
    • ‘I was uncovering a powerful voice of womanhood, embracing woman's strength, and heeding woman's necessary urging call.’
    • ‘It is one that has long existed not only as a cultural dimension for ethnic, national and religious communities but for other groups too; feminists find their identity in their womanhood and the Welsh in their language.’
    • ‘She tells a story of childhood and young womanhood, simultaneously mulling over what's become of her by the 1990s.’
    • ‘We see Annie Allen grow from childhood to womanhood in an atmosphere conditioned by poverty, racial discrimination, parental expectations, and unhappiness.’
    • ‘Kate Sheedy is a very pretty, intelligent and articulate girl teetering on the brink of womanhood.’
    • ‘While the artist continues to look into the beauty of womanhood in all its femininity and grace through this technique, the watercolours reflect his old passion for architectural forms.’
    • ‘The sources girls turn to most often, such as teen magazines, offer them a very limited view of what comprises femininity and womanhood.’
    • ‘Rachel and Samson fight over their guests, leaving Samson to ponder the complexities of womanhood that he does not understand.’
    • ‘At 17, Cassandra is poised on the brink of womanhood.’
    • ‘Some of that love is transferred to Kavita Asrani who Vishnu has watched blossom from childhood to full blown womanhood.’
    • ‘What I am interested in is this: exactly how positive is Tarantino's portrayal of women in this movie, and does it reflect a standard of womanhood with which I identify?’
    • ‘This fabric, which appears in most works, is apparently associated with an induction into womanhood amongst Xhosa people.’
    • ‘Some say it is a ritual initiation into womanhood.’
    • ‘I have always considered them a frivolity that does nothing to enhance the condition of womanhood.’
    • ‘The film tells a personal story of emerging womanhood through Geneviève, when her lover is drafted to war-torn Algeria.’
    • ‘Even in childhood and young womanhood, there is little of the contingent and insignificant detail which humanises the great.’
    • ‘Sentimental literature was often written for and about the lives of girls on the brink of womanhood; young women such as Sarah Connell were among its prime consumers.’
    • ‘Yet while she recognizes the limiting conditions of constructed womanhood, Brittain refuses to accept them.’
    • ‘She had been true to her independent nature, fulfilling her womanhood in a manner that she found appropriate, although unable to assert herself finally.’
    • ‘Seventeen and trembling on the brink of womanhood, she has already suffered the humiliation of being packed off as the poor relation with her rich cousins on holiday.’
    adulthood, maturity
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    1. 1.1 The qualities considered to be natural to or characteristic of a woman.
      ‘Mary was cultivated as an ideal of womanhood’
      • ‘Women were, strictly speaking, not allowed to fulfill the highest ideal of filial piety, an ideal that was ironically grounded in the virtue attributed to ideal womanhood - the maternal instinct to care and be cared for.’
      • ‘True womanhood emphasized the qualities of piety, purity, maternity, submissiveness, virtue, and domesticity.’
      • ‘A male clergy found a way of harnessing the devotion of women, whether in congregations or not, to promote the cult of the Virgin, both as a way of feminizing Catholicism and of legitimizing the virtues of womanhood and motherhood.’
      • ‘Graves's goal was to promote model womanhood for young women by writing about ideal types.’
      • ‘Within America itself, strong female characters emerge from and repudiate the caricatures of womanhood that populate the narrative.’
      • ‘Backed up by the views of psychologists, doctors and an actress who almost died trying to conform to the currently dominant stick - insect look, I looked forward to a return to a healthier ideal of womanhood.’
      • ‘This more primitive expression of womanhood is fused with the typically reclining posture of renaissance figures, such as Michelangelo's Dawn.’
      • ‘Motherhood is a powerful metaphor because it is central to esteemed ideals of womanhood, particularly among Latinos.’
      • ‘Whether or not these methods were flawed matters not; what is important is that ideal womanhood was, in part, physical.’
      • ‘On the other hand, womanhood is associated with the characteristics of being sensible, tender, nurturing and caring.’
      • ‘Also, I think you're assuming that Wittig and other lesbians/feminists want to ‘liberate’ a true, natural womanhood from cultural baggage etc.’
      • ‘All through his sermons Topsell tries to portray Naomi and Ruth as symbols of ideal womanhood who are guilty of no moral or religious offense.’
      • ‘She has presented women figures in an artistic impact-assessment on the concept of womanhood across centuries.’
      • ‘Eventually, however, the honor, strength, character and womanhood of Radha the woman prevails and she returns back to her hungry children with honor and dignity.’
      • ‘Central to the idea of Mother Teresa is this idea of womanhood, of the feminine, of selflessness, calling and sacrifice.’
      • ‘Women responded positively to this new ideal, for it endowed motherhood, and thus womanhood, with a new sense of dignity and purpose.’
      • ‘Is this girl the type and quality of womanhood best suited to this man for a successful life?’
      • ‘I don't think it tells us about deep underlying trends or revisions to ideals of womanhood.’
      • ‘From its inception, the genteel performance was connected with ideologies of gender, particularly the ideal of true womanhood.’
      • ‘However, the Virgin Mother, the ideal of womanhood as presented by a patriarchal church, has been at the expense of real women.’
      womanliness, femininity, feminineness, feminine qualities, womanly qualities
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    2. 1.2 Women considered collectively.
      ‘images of African-American womanhood’
      • ‘My insights into French womanhood were greatly expanded when I met Mamie and Tantine, who are respectively Robert's mother and aunt.’
      • ‘This characterisation is problematic, as here Mehta is reinforcing the stereotype of docile, demure, and pristine femininity as the ideal form of South Asian womanhood.’
      • ‘The resolution of the Duchess's feud with the Binney family underscores the character's position as the apparent antithesis of true black womanhood.’
      • ‘It depicts the strength and courage of Indian womanhood.’
      • ‘They are relics from the past, certainly, but a past ideal of Indian womanhood that impinges all too easily on India's troubled present and has serious repercussions for India's future.’
      • ‘Yet public opinion had been captured, and it was taken for granted that lynching was a just response to the barbarous sexual crimes against white womanhood.’
      • ‘These comments reveal the contested space within the very image of modern womanhood in the 1920s: was it ‘wild’ to dance, play bridge and go to the theater?’
      • ‘By the time the duo meet years later, however, Kajol has mutated into the quintessential image of traditional womanhood, perpetually clothed in chiffon saris and polite diffidence.’
      • ‘And in any case, polyandry is certainly not the ideal for Indian womanhood.’
      • ‘African women may feel multiple allegiances: community affiliations, ethnic identification, global womanhood, and racial solidarity.’
      • ‘When Ting returns to the fight club, he's obliged to defend the honour of Thai womanhood from a shaggy Australian behemoth.’
      • ‘These imagined and real mothers provide an important counter to the negative images of black womanhood circulated in other media.’
      • ‘The sit-in was therefore rife with just the sorts of contradictions which communists identified with proletarian womanhood, and women became obvious and crucial actors in its realization.’
      • ‘Poverty pins them between traditional ideals of Italian womanhood and the claims of urban workplaces.’
      • ‘The virtue of white womanhood could not be assumed; it had to be enforced.’
      • ‘Stoker wanted us to be revolted by the sexualizing of pure English womanhood, to see their corruption as striking at the foundation of English life and, by extension, civilized society.’
      • ‘And did Berry baring her torso in Swordfish provide the wholesome image of black womanhood that the NAACP says it wants to promote?’
      • ‘I work for my ideal of German womanhood with whom, some day, I will live my life in the east and fight my battles as a German far from beautiful Germany.’
      • ‘She personifies the ‘unstained patriotic American womanhood our boys are fighting for.’’
      • ‘This time we play Cupid, and what we behold is a smoother landscape with fewer peaks and valleys, a thoroughly modern image of taut contemporary womanhood.’
      women, womenfolk
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Pronunciation

womanhood

/ˈwo͝omənˌho͝od//ˈwʊmənˌhʊd/