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effeminate

[adjective ih-fem-uh-nit; verb ih-fem-uh-neyt]
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adjective
  1. (of a man or boy) having traits, tastes, habits, etc., traditionally considered feminine, as softness or delicacy.
  2. characterized by excessive softness, delicacy, self-indulgence, etc.: effeminate luxury.
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verb (used with or without object), ef·fem·i·nat·ed, ef·fem·i·nat·ing.
  1. to make or become effeminate.
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Origin of effeminate

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin effēminātus, equivalent to ef- ef- + fēmin(a) woman + -ātus -ate1
Related formsef·fem·i·nate·ly, adverbef·fem·i·nate·ness, nounef·fem·i·na·tion, nounun·ef·fem·i·nate, adjectiveun·ef·fem·i·nate·ly, adverb
Can be confusedeffeminate effete feminine womanish womanly (see synonym study at womanly)

Synonyms

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1. See female.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for effeminated

Historical Examples

  • The latter is preserved in the sense of "effeminated man," found in myths concerning Loke.

    Teutonic Mythology, Vol. 1 of 3

    Viktor Rydberg, Ph.D.

  • Our gentry forsooth in these dayes are so effeminated that they know not how to ride on horseback.

  • Had I been united to her, the excess of my affection would have effeminated my intellect.

  • And then I have effeminated and enervated myself with love and the summer in these last two months.

  • Under this fostering care he "effeminated himself" (obabilsya), as he is wont to say.

    Russia

    Donald Mackenzie Wallace


British Dictionary definitions for effeminated

effeminate

adjective
  1. (of a man or boy) displaying characteristics regarded as typical of a woman; not manly
  2. lacking firmness or vigouran effeminate piece of writing
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Derived Formseffeminacy or effeminateness, nouneffeminately, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Latin effēmināre to make into a woman, from fēmina woman
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for effeminated

effeminate

adj.

early 15c., from Latin effeminatus "womanish, effeminate," past participle of effeminare "make a woman of," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + femina "woman" (see feminine). Rarely used without reproach. Related: Effeminately.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper