Last modified on 16 December 2014, at 18:40




From Latin muliebritās, from muliēbris (womanly, feminine), from mulier (woman)


  • IPA(key): /mjuːliˈɛbrɪti/


muliebrity (plural muliebrities)

  1. The state or quality of being a woman, the features of woman's nature.
    • ca 1693, Thomas Urquhart, Rabelais, page 3:32:270:
      Individual Womanishness or Muliebrity.
    • 1904, H.B. Marriott-Watson, “The American Woman: An Analysis”, The Nineteenth Century and After, volume 56, page 435: 
      This permanence of muliebrity serves to indicate the requirements of natural law.
    • 1996, Joni Arredia, Muliebrity: Qualities of a Woman
  2. The coordinate term to virility, in an analogy with the coordinate terms of femininity and masculinity.
    • 1922, Beckles Willson, England, page 182:
      both principles are necessary to a nation,--that in proportion as the muliebrity of the one sex declines, the virility of the other also lessens
  3. Femininity, specifically the feminine form of an adult woman.
    • 1888, Bret Harte, Phyllis of Sierras, page 2:1:169:
      This tall [] woman [] possessed a refined muliebrity superior to mere liberality of contour.
  4. Attainment of womanhood; (medicine) state of puberty in a female
    • 1997, Julie Haurykiewicz, “From Mules to Muliebrity: Speech and Silence in Their Eyes Were Watching God”, Southern Literary Journal, volume 29, page 45: 
      Janie's story of personal growth may be charted as one that travels from mules to muliebrity.
  5. A state of womanhood, in contrast to maidenhood.
    • 1870, ʻAlī ibn Abī Bakr Marghīnānī, Charles Hamilton, Standish Grove Grady, “Divorce”, in The Hedaya, or Guide, edition 2, page 127:
      Where she was married as a virgin, she is to be examined [and] if they declare her muliebrity, [] her right to separation [on complaint of her husband's impotence] is defeated


  • ?1592, Thomas Kyd, Soliman and Perseda, page sig. G2v:
    The Ladies of Rhodes ... Haue made their petition to Cupid, to plague you aboue all other, As one preiuditiall to their muliebritie.
  • 1858, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, page 9:
    The second of the ravishing voices ... had so much woman in it,— muliebrity, as well as femineity.
1911, H. G. Wells, New Machiavelli, page 2:2:206:
She was one of those women who are wanting in what is the word? muliebrity.
1959, S. B. Meech, Design in Chaucer's Troilus, page 1:2:25:
In presenting the heroine he stresses, not haughtiness, but muliebrity.

Usage notesEdit

Vanderbilt University offers the Muliebrity Prize to honor students that "demonstrate leadership in activities that contribute to the achievements, interests and goals of women and girls, or that promote equity."[1]


Coordinate termsEdit

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit

  • Bhatt, Sujata (1989). "Muliebrity". A poem in Shirley Lim, Mayumi Tsutakawa and Margarita Donnelly (eds) The Forbidden Stitch: an Asian American Women's Anthology. Corvallis, Oregon: Calyx Books


  1. ^ Margaret Cuninggim Women's Center: Awards & Recognition