Female is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, which produces egg cells. The "egg cell" is defined as the larger gamete in a heterogamous reproduction system, while the smaller gamete is produced by the male.
A female cannot usually reproduce without sexual intercourse with a male, although some exceptions exist. What actually differentiates a female from a male is not always apparent, and in some cases is more a question of definition than anything else. 'Female' and 'male' designate reproductive structures in plants, so the concept is not just limited to animals.
A common symbol used to represent the female gender is ♀ (Unicode: U+2640), a circle with a small cross underneath. This symbol also represents the planet Venus and is a stylized representation of the goddess Venus' hand mirror.
Other meanings of female
Last updated: 10-16-2005 19:38:28