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Alternative formsEdit


A group of girls in Sri Lanka.

From Middle English girle, gerle, gyrle ‎(young person of either sex), of uncertain origin. Probably from Old English *gyrle, *gyrele, a diminutive form of Proto-Germanic *gurwijaz (compare North Frisian gör ‎(girl), Low German Gör, Göre ‎(child of either sex), German Göre ‎(young child), dialectal Norwegian gorre, dialectal Swedish garre, gurre ‎(small child)), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰer- ‎(short)[1] (compare Old Irish gair ‎(short), Ancient Greek χρεώ ‎(khreṓ, need, necessity), χρήσθαι ‎(khrḗsthai, to need), Sanskrit ह्रस्व ‎(hrasva, short, small)).



girl ‎(plural girls)

  1. A young female human; specifically (in contrast to boy), a female child, teenager, or young adult; by extension, a young female animal
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      No matter how early I came down, I would find him on the veranda, smoking cigarettes, or [] . And at last I began to realize in my harassed soul that all elusion was futile, and to take such holidays as I could get, when he was off with a girl, in a spirit of thankfulness.
    • 2013 July 19, Mark Tran, “Denied an education by war”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 1:
      One particularly damaging, but often ignored, effect of conflict on education is the proliferation of attacks on schools [] as children, teachers or school buildings become the targets of attacks. Parents fear sending their children to school. Girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence.
    Amanda is a girl of 16.
  2. Any woman, regardless of her age. (see usage notes)
  3. A female servant; a maid. (see usage notes)
  4. (uncommon) A queen (the playing card.)
  5. (colloquial) A term of endearment. (see usage notes)
  6. A girlfriend.
    • Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Girl from Hollywood
      There isn't any guy going to steal my girl!
    • 1996, Elizabeth Wong, Kimchee and Chitlins: A Serious Comedy about Getting Along (page 74)
      I took my girl to the cinema to watch your American movies.
  7. A daughter.
    Your girl turned up on our doorstep.
  8. (Britain, dialect, obsolete) A roebuck two years old.
  9. (US, slang) Cocaine, especially in powder form.
    • 1969, Iceberg Slim, Pimp: The Story of My Life, Cash Money Content (2011), ISBN 9781451617139, page 43:
      She had taught me to snort girl, and almost always when I came to her pad, there would be thin sparkling rows of crystal cocaine on the glass top of the cocktail table.
    • 1977, Odie Hawkins, Chicago Hustle, Holloway House (1987), ISBN 0870673661, page 175:
      Elijah nodded congenially to the early evening regulars in the Afro Lounge, headed straight for the telephone hung midway between the mens and womens, his nose smarting from a couple thick lines of recently snorted girl.
    • 2005, K'wan, Hoodlum, St. Martin's Press (2005), ISBN 0312333080, page 185:
      After about an hour or two of half-ass sex and snorting girl, Honey was zoned out. [] She flexed her still numb fingers, trying to find a warmth that didn't seem to come. Cocaine always made her numb.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:girl.

Usage notesEdit

  • (any woman, regardless of her age): Calling a grown woman a "girl" may be considered either a compliment or an insult, depending on context and sensibilities. In some cases, the term is used as a euphemism for virgin, to distinguish a female who has never engaged in sexual intercourse (a "girl") from one who has done so (and is a woman).


Derived termsEdit

Look at pages starting with girl.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


  1. ^ Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, s.v. "girl" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002).

See alsoEdit


Most common English words before 1923: wish · gone · times · #334: girl · during · several · either