1. A female child.
2. A daughter: our youngest girl.
3. Often Offensive A woman.
a. A woman socializing with a group of women: a night out with the girls.
b. Used as a familiar form of address to express support of or camaraderie with a woman.
5. Informal A female sweetheart: cadets escorting their girls to the ball.
6. Offensive A female servant or employee.
[Middle English girle, child, girl, of unknown origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.