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(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 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. © 2015 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 ?
Companies such as OCC have further simplified the genderless design with user friendly mating interfaces (the company's EZ-Mate family) capable of "blind mate" and/or applications that require thousands of mating cycles.
When we translate such texts into a grammatically gendered language like Italian, however, we are often forced to assign gender to what has none in the source text because there are no equivalent genderless structures in the target language.
What could possibly persuade a painter to create such "genderless" humans?
I want it so bad." And as a teenager growing up about 75 miles north of Chicago, I can hold up scratched Matthew Sweet CDs as evidence that feelings like his are genderless.
Arguing that "[t]here are no genderless subjects in any relationship structuring literary culture...," poet and feminist critic DuPlessis (emeritus, English, Temple U., Philadelphia) discusses how 20th century male poets invested in the traditional patriarchal order (e.g., Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky), and those offering countercultural constructions of manhood (e.g., Olson, Creeley), faced challenges posed by feminist calls for gender equality and by male-male eroticism.
"These revolts are leaderless, faceless and genderless. The women were as oppressed as men before and during the protests," said Nadim Shehade of Chatham House in London.
Casanova, with the TSA, said the agency is currently testing a new type of scanner that would produce a genderless image of an individual.
I thank all my radical-queer comrades and party-goers for creating this plural, explosive sub-culture where we can experiment ourselves, and others, differently; where we can feel - for a few seconds--the beginning of what it would be like to evolve and grow as humans in a oppression-free(r), genderless or not-gender-based society.
The 17Q2 insert features 3-power, 2-quadrax, 12-fiber optic contacts in a single size-2 insert, plus ARINC 801 1.25mm genderless termini, which are increasingly preferred in new fiber optic systems.
It so happens that both sexes suffer in a genderless office
In "Savoir Faire Savoir Vivre" Nikki van Klees's story is told most fully by an unnamed genderless and unknowable character whose anonymity somehow manages to add additional credibility to the tale.
AoThe concepts of man or woman donAAEt fit me.AoAuNorrie May-Welby, who became the first person in the world to be classified as genderless after officials in New South Wales, Australia, altered May-WelbyAAEs birth certificate to specify the neutral gender
Nilofer's Imagine , a sort of triptych of black and white sketches is funny, especially the one where there are three toilet rows -- men, women, and clean and genderless. Alfredo Meyor's picturephotographs, titled Of Men and Gods are rendered in the calendar style, with bright, kitschy colours.