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epicene

[ ep-i-seen ]
/ ˈɛp ɪˌsin /
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adjective
lacking the typical characteristics of a particular gender or sex; sexless: Fashions in clothing are becoming increasingly epicene.
flaccid; feeble; weak: an epicene style of writing.
effeminate; unmasculine.
(of Greek and Latin nouns) of the same gender class regardless of the sex of the individual referred to, as the grammatically feminine Latin vulpēs “fox.”
Grammar. (of a noun or pronoun) capable of referring to any individual regardless of sex, as attendant, chairperson, Pat, one, or they; having common gender.
noun
a person or thing that is epicene.
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Origin of epicene

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Latin epicoenus “of both genders,” from Greek epíkoinos “common to many,” equivalent to epi- epi- + koinós “common”

OTHER WORDS FROM epicene

ep·i·cen·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use epicene in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for epicene

epicene
/ (ˈɛpɪˌsiːn) /

adjective
having the characteristics of both sexes; hermaphroditic
of neither sex; sexless
effeminate
grammar
  1. denoting a noun that may refer to a male or a female, such as teacher as opposed to businessman or shepherd
  2. (in Latin, Greek, etc) denoting a noun that retains the same grammatical gender regardless of the sex of the referent
noun
an epicene person or creature
an epicene noun

Derived forms of epicene

epicenism, noun

Word Origin for epicene

C15: from Latin epicoenus of both genders, from Greek epikoinos common to many, from koinos common
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
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