Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An animal or plant exhibiting hermaphroditism.
  • noun Something that is a combination of disparate or contradictory elements.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A human being in whom the sexual characteristics of both sexes are to some extent, really or apparently, combined; also, one of the higher animals which is similarly deformed.
  • noun One of those lower animals which normally possess the parts of generation of both the male and the female, so that reproduction can take place without the union of two individuals.
  • noun In botany, a flower that contains both the stamen and the pistil perfectly developed, or the male and female organs of generation, within the same floral envelop or on the same receptacle. See perfect.
  • Same as hermaphroditic.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Including, or being of, both sexes.
  • adjective (Naut.) See under Brig.
  • noun (Biol.) An individual which has the attributes of both male and female, or which unites in itself the two sexes; an animal or plant having the parts of generation of both sexes, as when a flower contains both the stamens and pistil within the same calyx, or on the same receptacle. In some cases reproduction may take place without the union of the distinct individuals. In the animal kingdom true hermaphrodites are found only among the invertebrates. See Illust. in Appendix, under Helminths.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person or thing possessing two opposing qualities.
  • noun nautical A hermaphrodite brig.
  • adjective Having gender-ambiguous sexual organs, typically including both types of gonads, in one individual or organism.
  • adjective Combining two opposing qualities.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of animal or plant; having both male female reproductive organs
  • noun one having both male and female sexual characteristics and organs; at birth an unambiguous assignment of male or female cannot be made

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English hermofrodite, from Medieval Latin hermofrodītus, from Latin Hermaphrodītus, Hermaphroditus, hermaphrodite; see Hermaphroditus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Hermaphroditos, the mythical son of Hermes and Aphrodite, possessing both male and female qualities.

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