late 14c., from Old French male, masle "male, masculine; a male" (see male (n.)). Mechanical sense of "part of an instrument that penetrates another part" is from 1660s.
late 14c., "male human being; male fish or land animal," from Old French masle (adj.) "masculine, male, adult," also used as a noun (12c., Modern French mâle), from Latin masculus "masculine, male, worthy of a man" (source also of Provençal mascle, Spanish macho, Italian maschio), diminutive of mas (genitive maris) "male person or animal, male."
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