—genderless, adj./jen"deuhr/, n.1. Gram.a. (in many languages) a set of classes that together include all nouns, membership in a particular class being shown by the form of the noun itself or by the form or choice of words that modify, replace, or otherwise refer to the noun, as, in English, the choice of he to replace the man, of she to replace the woman, of it to replace the table, of it or she to replace the ship. The number of genders in different languages varies from 2 to more than 20; often the classification correlates in part with sex or animateness. The most familiar sets of genders are of three classes (as masculine, feminine, and neuter in Latin and German) or of two (as common and neuter in Dutch, or masculine and feminine in French and Spanish).b. one class of such a set.c. such classes or sets collectively or in general.d. membership of a word or grammatical form, or an inflectional form showing membership, in such a class.2. sex: the feminine gender.3. Archaic. kind, sort, or class.gender2/jen"deuhr/, v.t., v.i.1. Archaic. to engender.2. Obs. to breed.[1300-50; ME gendren, genderen < MF gendrer < L generare to beget, deriv. of genus GENDER1, GENUS1]
* * *In language, a grammatical category contrasting distinctions of sex or animateness.Gender marking may be natural, with linguistic markers of gender corresponding to real-world gender, or purely grammatical, with markers of gender in part semantically based and in part semantically arbitrary. In languages with grammatical gender, nouns are partitioned into sets. Membership of a noun in a set may be expressed by its form and/or by the forms of other parts of speech controlled by the noun. Closely related to gender systems in language are class systems, as in Bantu languages, in which the number of sets into which nouns are partitioned is much larger, with distinct categories for things such as plants, animals, and tools, though, as with nouns in Romance and Germanic languages, assignment of most nouns to classes is semantically arbitrary.
* * *▪ grammarin language, a phenomenon in which the words of a certain part of speech, usually nouns, require the agreement, or concord, through grammatical marking (or inflection), of various other words related to them in a sentence. In languages that exhibit gender, two or more classes of nouns control variation in words of other parts of speech (typically pronouns and adjectives and sometimes verbs). These other words maintain constant meaning but vary in form according to the class of the word that controls them in a given situation.Among modern Indo-European languages such as French, Spanish, and Italian, nouns are classified into two genders, masculine and feminine. Russian and German nouns are grouped into three genders, the third being neuter. While nouns referring to masculine or feminine beings almost always take the logical gender in these languages, for most other nouns the gender is arbitrary.In the following examples from French (French language), the indefinite article and the adjective display a change in form depending on whether the noun that they modify is masculine (poème, “poem”) or feminine (pièce, “play”): un poème intéressant, “an interesting poem,” but une pièce intéressante, “an interesting play.”Swahili (Swahili language) and many other languages have a gender system in which the relationship between the logical category of an object and its grammatical gender is specified to a much greater degree. Gender classes in such languages may include animate beings, inanimate objects, plants, animals, tools, and objects of a particular shape.
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