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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 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

  • Effemination finds more victims among the wealthy and the educated than among the poor and uneducated.

  • Almost every case of effemination or viraginity can be cured if recognized and treated in its incipiency.

  • Effemination and viraginity are common types of degeneration which always follow in the wake of luxury and debauchery.


British Dictionary definitions for effemination

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 effemination

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

effemination in Medicine

effemination

(ĭ-fĕmə-nāshən)
n.
  1. The acquisition of feminine characteristics, either physiologically by women, or pathologically by persons of either sex.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.