Definition of Hermaphrodite

1. Noun. One having both male and female sexual characteristics and organs; at birth an unambiguous assignment of male or female cannot be made.

2. Adjective. Of animal or plant; having both male female reproductive organs.
Exact synonyms: Hermaphroditic
Category relationships: Biological Science, Biology
Similar to: Androgynous

Definition of Hermaphrodite

1. n. 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.

2. a. Including, or being of, both sexes; as, an hermaphrodite animal or flower.

Definition of Hermaphrodite

1. Noun. An individual or organism possessing gender-ambiguous sexual organs, typically including both types of gonads. (defdate from late 14th c.) ¹

2. Noun. A person or thing possessing two opposing qualities. ¹

3. Noun. (nautical) A hermaphrodite brig. ¹

4. Adjective. Having gender-ambiguous sexual organs, typically including both types of gonads, in one individual or organism. ¹

5. Adjective. Combining two opposing qualities. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Hermaphrodite

1. A hermaphrodite is an organism having both male and female reproductive organs. In many species, hermaphroditism is a common part of the life-cycle, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which partners are not separated into distinct male and female types of individual. Hermaphroditism most commonly occurs in invertebrates, although it is also found in some fish, and to a lesser degree in other vertebrates.

Historically, the term hermaphrodite has also been used to describe ambiguous genitalia and gonadal mosaicism in individuals of gonochoristic species, especially human beings. The term comes from the name of the minor Greek god Hermaphroditus, son of Hermes and Aphrodite.

Recently, intersex has been used and preferred by many such individuals, encouraging medical professionals to use the term.

Medical Definition of Hermaphrodite

1. An organism which has both male and female organs, and produces both male gametes (sperm) and female gametes (eggs). The organism can have both types of organs at the same time (simultaneous hermaphrodite) or have one type early in life and the other type later in life (sequential hermaphrodite). (09 Oct 1997)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Hermaphrodite

hermaphrodite brig
hermaphrodite brigs
hermeneutic circle

Literary usage of Hermaphrodite

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Natural History of Plants: Their Forms, Growth, Reproduction, and by Anton Kerner von Marilaun (1902)
"Close to these comes a second group of species which bear pseudo-hermaphrodite female flowers as well as truly hermaphrodite flowers, as, for example, ..."

2. Trees: A Handbook of Forest-botany for the Woodlands and the Laboratory by Harry Marshall Ward, Percy Groom (1905)
"In Silene nutans (7) some plants have pseudo- hermaphrodite male, ... Similarly, Veratrum album with hermaphrodite and truly staminate flowers on the same ..."

3. Synoptical Flora of North America: The Gamopetalae, Being a Second Edition by Asa Gray (1888)
"ked. he» of hermaphrodite fertile flowers roundish-obtuse, or at least not truncate, ... ami numerous hermaphrodite-infertile flowers, like those of ..."

4. The Journal of Heredity by American Genetic Association (1916)
"This form produces hermaphrodite flowers of the same type as those just described (form 6). They have the corolla tube reduced to almost negligible length ..."

5. Journal of Anatomy and Physiology by Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1893)
"The species of molluscs which I shall here describe are normally hermaphrodite, and, so far as I am aware, there are no observations on record of either of ..."

6. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences by Southern Society for Clinical Investigation (U.S.) (1853)
"hermaphrodite Formation.—SAMUEL STUART, Esq., gives the following ... 17,) of a remarkable hermaphrodite formation in a new-born infant:— " It is furnished ..."

7. Two Years Before the Mast: A Personal Narrative by Richard Henry Dana (1911)
"This day sailed the Mexican hermaphrodite brig Fazio, for San Bias and Mazatlan. This was the brig which was driven ashore at San Pedro in a southeaster, ..."

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