Muliebrity

Muliebrity is the quality of being a woman. This word is sometimes used as a counterpart to virility, in an analogy with the counterparts of "feminine" and "masculine".

The word is derived from Latin muliebritas ("womanhood") and mulier ("woman"). The Oxford English Dictionary (1st edition) noted it was "rare".

Muliebrity (miuli?e?br?ti). rare. Womanhood ; the characteristics or qualities of a woman.
The American Heritage Dictionary adds that muliebrity is the "state of womanhood (in contrast with maidenhood)." In this sense, muliebrity is a state achieved by successful relationship with a man.

Some thesauruses supply muliebrity among other approximate synonyms for womanhood and femininity. Vanderbilt University uses it in a slightly different way, offering a Muliebrity Award to recognize the achievements of women. In his book Mother Tongue (1990), author Bill Bryson describes it as meaning "the state of being a woman" .

The word came into a wider circulation after the book of Joni Arredia, although its occasional usage may be traced to much earlier times, e.g., in Al Purdy's poem Uncle Fred on Côte des Neiges (in Poems for All the Annettes (Toronto, 1962)).

Muliebrity is also the name of a poem, written by Sujata Bhatt.

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Literature

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