- Lady , originally used specif. of a woman of the upper classes and until recently commonly used in polite or genteel reference to any woman, is now often avoided as a general substitute for woman, except in such formulas as ""ladies and gentlemen.''
- Female , referring specif. to sex, is applied to plants and animals, but is now regarded as a mildly contemptuous equivalent for woman that strong-minded female is here again, except in scientific, technical, or statistical use, as in population tables
- Woman is the standard general term for the adult human being of the sex distinguished from man