- pertaining to a woman or girl: feminine beauty; feminine dress.
- having qualities traditionally ascribed to women, as sensitivity or gentleness.
- effeminate; womanish: a man with a feminine walk.
- belonging to the female sex; female: feminine staff members.
- Grammar. noting or pertaining to that one of the three genders of Latin, Greek, German, etc., or one of the two genders of French, Spanish, Hebrew, etc., having among its members most nouns referring to females, as well as other nouns, as Latin stella “star,” or German Zeit “time.”
- the feminine gender.
- a noun or other element in or marking that gender.
Origin of feminine
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for feminine
All other issues—racial, feminine, even environmental—need to fit around this central objective.Time to Bring Back the Truman Democrats
December 21, 2014
These crimes of fashion proved the men were feminine and thus gay and therefore worthy of incarceration.The Straight Hero of Cameroon’s Gays
December 10, 2014
In Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen defends the novel against critics who dismiss it as frivolous and feminine.The Birth of the Novel
November 27, 2014
“I had this feminine, classical image [of myself] that would have totally been destroyed,” she said.Whip It: Secrets of a Dominatrix
November 25, 2014
Betty Friedan put the feelings of our mothers to words, publishing The Feminine Mystique.Whither the Women’s Movement?
July 19, 2014
Simple Alleyne opened his eyes at this little spurt of feminine bitterness.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Did she have a heart, then, or was it a feminine trait to turn pale in every emergency?Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
But dancing was the only feminine accomplishment with which she had any acquaintance.Biographical Stories
"'Tis nothing," she answered, refusing his support with feminine reserve.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
His own nature partook of the feminine, and he shared its intuitions and its fears.Tiverton Tales
- suitable to or characteristic of a womana feminine fashion
- possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a woman
- effeminate; womanish
- denoting or belonging to a gender of nouns, occurring in many inflected languages, that includes all kinds of referents as well as some female animate referents
- (as noun)German Zeit ``time'' and Ehe ``marriage'' are feminines
Word Origin and History for feminine
mid-14c., "of the female sex," from Old French femenin (12c.) "feminine, female; with feminine qualities, effeminate," from Latin femininus "feminine" (in the grammatical sense at first), from femina "woman, female," literally "she who suckles," from root of felare "to suck, suckle" (see fecund). Sense of "woman-like, proper to or characteristic of women" is recorded from mid-15c.
The interplay of meanings now represented in female, feminine, and effeminate, and the attempt to make them clear and separate, has led to many coinages: feminitude (1878); feminile "feminine" (1640s); feminility "womanliness" (1838); femality (17c., "effeminacy;" 1754 "female nature"). Also feminality (1640s, "quality or state of being female"), from rare adjective feminal (late 14c.), from Old French feminal. And femineity "quality or state of being feminine," from Latin femineus "of a woman, pertaining to a woman."