I think the word "murdere" is masculine and the word "murderess" is feminine.

Is that right to say:

     She is murderer.


     She is murderess.

And does it make difference if both are correct?


Native Anglophones are increasingly disinclined to make such gender distinctions...

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...but neither of OP's versions are "correct", because you always need an article in this type of construction. If the context is about identifying a specific murderer that people are talking about, you could say "She is the murderer/murderess", but more commonly and more generally (if you're saying something about her) it would be "She is a murderer".

  • 1
    +1 -- you made the answer I was just about to make! Many Americans use the "-er" word without thinking colloquially, or simply don't know that there is a feminine version of the word. There are some hold-overs of very common words with the differentiation that are still in use like actor and actress, but I believe it's not going to be observed much longer, especially with more gender-neutral terms such as "role" showing up. – Crazy Eyes Nov 24 '14 at 22:25
  • @Crazy Eyes: I wasn't aware there's much of a US/UK divide here, though the fast-becoming-outdated actor/actress distinction seems much associated with Hollywood to me. But much depends on the specific word-pair. We don't use adulterer/adulteress so often these days, and I'd say both words have somewhat outlived their usefulness (for Brits, anyway! :), but perhaps precisely because they're rather dated terms, those people who still use them are much more fastidious about observing the gender distinction. "She's an adulterer" is not at all common compared to "She's an adulteress". – FumbleFingers Nov 24 '14 at 22:34
  • I'm fascinated by that spike in the 1910's... Was murdering a popular past-time for women in that time period or something? – Bobo Nov 24 '14 at 22:42
  • 1
    Maybe this murderpedia.org/female.F/f/fazekas-julia.htm – ColleenV Nov 25 '14 at 2:13

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