Origin of epicene
Examples from the Web for epicene
He was a great contrast to the epicene bird-like creature who had lorded it over the civic fortunes of Valladolid.The American Egypt|Channing Arnold
But a liberal-minded public grew more and more in favor of epicene colleges.
What's the meaning of this; and what, may I ask, is the intention of this—this epicene attire?Stalky & Co.|Rudyard Kipling
Sentiment is the ultima ratio feminarum, and of men whose natures are of the epicene gender.Tracks of a Rolling Stone|Henry J. Coke
He looked away, for that epicene tenderness of hers was too harrowing.Jude the Obscure|Thomas Hardy
- denoting a noun that may refer to a male or a female, such as teacher as opposed to businessman or shepherd
- (in Latin, Greek, etc) denoting a noun that retains the same grammatical gender regardless of the sex of the referent
Word Origin for epicene
mid-15c., epycen, originally a grammatical term for nouns that may denote either gender, from Latin epicoenus "common," from Greek epikoinos "common to many, promiscuous," from epi "on" (see epi-) + koinos "common" (see coeno-). Extended sense of "characteristic of both sexes" first recorded in English c.1600; that of "effeminate" 1630s.