Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[adjective ih-fem-uh-nit; verb ih-fem-uh-neyt] /adjective ɪˈfɛm ə nɪt; verb ɪˈfɛm əˌneɪt/
(of a man or boy) having traits, tastes, habits, etc., traditionally considered feminine, as softness or delicacy.
characterized by excessive softness, delicacy, self-indulgence, etc.:
effeminate luxury.
verb (used with or without object), effeminated, effeminating.
to make or become effeminate.
Origin of effeminate
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin effēminātus, equivalent to ef- ef- + fēmin(a) woman + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
effeminately, adverb
effeminateness, noun
effemination, noun
uneffeminate, adjective
uneffeminately, adverb
Can be confused
effeminate, effete, feminine, womanish, womanly (see synonym study at womanly)
1. See female. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for effemination
Historical Examples
  • In this article I have described only mild types of viraginity and effemination.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
  • The effemination of the males had continued with quickened tempo.

    Against The Grain Joris-Karl Huysmans
  • Almost every case of effemination or viraginity can be cured if recognized and treated in its incipiency.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
  • effemination finds more victims among the wealthy and the educated than among the poor and uneducated.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
  • effemination and viraginity are common types of degeneration which always follow in the wake of luxury and debauchery.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
  • A dandified man is always ridiculous, but when he adds to his foppery, effemination, he then becomes contemptible.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
  • effemination has occasioned the downfall of many nations; let us guard against it with all our power.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
  • effemination and viraginity are the results of the weakening effects of luxury and consequent debauchery.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
  • Nations, time and again, have felt the dire effects of effemination and have sunk beneath them.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
  • effemination is a disease which, taken at its inception, can generally be eradicated and cured.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
British Dictionary definitions for effemination


(of a man or boy) displaying characteristics regarded as typical of a woman; not manly
lacking firmness or vigour: an effeminate piece of writing
Derived Forms
effeminacy, effeminateness, noun
effeminately, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for effemination



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
effemination in Medicine

effemination ef·fem·i·na·tion (ĭ-fěm'ə-nā'shən)
The acquisition of feminine characteristics, either physiologically by women, or pathologically by persons of either sex.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for effemination

Word Value for effemination

Scrabble Words With Friends