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Related to gender: Gender roles


(Describing) one who identifies as the gender that corresponds to their sex at birth; (describing) one who is not transgender. If you were born male and identify as man, then you're cisgender. Just because someone is cisgender doesn't mean they can't support trans rights.

gender bender

1. One who dresses and/or behaves in a manner or style associated with another gender. Tom works as an accountant during the week, but he has a performance routine as a gender bender on the weekend.
2. One who challenges, denies, or explores the borders or limitations of gender identity by various means. Some of the leading academic gender benders are gathering this week for a summit on transgender rights.
3. In electronics, an adapter that has either two male or two female connectors and is used to change the gender of a plug. If that's a male connector, we'll need to get a gender bender to finish this job.
See also: bender, gender

gender bending

1. adjective Causing a change in the sex assignment of a person or animal. This meaning can be considered imprecise especially in technical use due to conflating gender and sex. Often hyphenated. Scientists are developing a gender-bending chemical to induce artificial changes in the sex of mosquitoes.
2. adjective Assuming the roles, appearance, or manner associated with another gender. Often hyphenated. This novel features a gender-bending protagonist who, at various stages in the story, moves between gender identities.
3. noun The discourse or practice of challenging, denying, or exploring the borders or limitations of gender identity by various means. Some of the leading academics in gender bending are gathering this week for a summit on transgender rights.
See also: bend, gender

gender binary

The idea that there are only two distinct genders (male and female). Many people don't believe in the gender binary because they don't identify as solely male or female.
See also: binary, gender

gender fluid

Not strictly identifying as one distinct gender, perhaps identifying as a different gender at different times, or identifying as more than one gender at once. My sex is male, but I'm gender fluid, and I feel more feminine than masculine some days.
See also: fluid, gender

gender fluidity

The state of not strictly identifying as one distinct gender, perhaps identifying as a different gender at different times, or identifying as more than one gender at once. Gender fluidity means that some people's gender identity may fluctuate.
See also: gender

gender gap

A phrase that can be applied to any socioeconomic difference that exists between men and women. I really hope Maureen's big raise helps to lessen the gender gap in wages at this company.
See also: gap, gender


1. Not giving an indication of someone's or something's gender. Our campus is trying to settle on a gender-neutral term to use for students who don't identify as male or female.
2. Applicable to any gender. My daughters have so many dolls—I wish they had more gender-neutral toys to play with.


Describing one who does not consider gender as a binary of two exclusive options (male and female) and who identifies as neither male nor female, or as a combination of genders. I want to talk to a genderqueer person to try to better understand their views on gender. My friend Sal doesn't identify as exclusively female—they consider themself genderqueer.

play the gender card

To introduce the issue of gender discrimination, especially against the gender one identifies as, in order to gain an advantage in or dismiss or discredit an argument. There you go playing the gender card again. I don't care who you are—I still think it's a bad policy! I hate it when casual misogynists try to brush off legitimate criticism by claiming that you're just "playing the gender card."
See also: card, gender, play


(Describing) one whose gender identity does not correspond to their sex at birth. This can but does not necessarily include those who have undergone medical intervention. I knew I was transgender as a child—I was born male but that never felt like who I truly was. Actor Laverne Cox is a prominent transgender person.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

gender gap

A broad difference between men and women, as in There is still an enormous gender gap in the wages of unskilled labor. This expression at first referred to the difference between men and women in voting preferences. It has since been extended to other areas. [1970s]
See also: gap, gender
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. n. a device that changes electrical plugs or sockets to the opposite gender—male to female, female to male. You need what’s called a gender-bender to match those plugs.
2. mod. having to do with something that obscures male/female distinctions. Those gender-bender hairstyles can be confusing.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
One of the roots of gender-based violence and gender dysphoria later in life is the conflation of gender and sex assigned at birth.
Although this gender bias of underrating and misjudging females as leaders has its roots in history but even history can be quoted to highlight great female leaders.
However, as she said, most private and public media in BiH do not have editorial policies that would support the preparation and broadcasting of programs that include issues of protection of women's human rights and gender equality.
* Denying an employee equal access to a common restroom corresponding to the employee's gender identity
Transgender: A subset of gender-diverse youth whose gender identity does not match their assigned sex and generally remains persistent, consistent and insistent over time.
She also focused need of awareness about gender responsiveness at workplace.
Al Merri said: "Since the Council's establishment in 2015, we have achieved significant milestones in enhancing gender balance, as a result of our wise leadership's support, the cooperation of government entities, and the Council's strong relations with related international organisation such as the World Bank, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, UN Women and the International Monetary Fund."
Christiana Ehidiame, Special Assistant, Gender from Esan North East
It also fosters dialogue regarding the best international gender policies and practices, supporting the goals set out by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, Gender Balance Council at the time of its establishment.
Polysexual: Attraction to multiple genders or forms of gender expression, but not all.
Even with voices arguing that gender self-identification is what matters for women's sports, the subject that predominates these discussions is sex--the biological domain.
After researchers followed children over the course of several years, a paper in the journal ( Sex Roles says their gender identity was pretty solidified early on in their lives and the structure of the family, including the sexual orientation of parents, did not affect that.
Using 'they' or 'them' is a preference by those who identify with a non-binary gender, meaning that they identify neither with being female nor male only.