- belonging to, or partaking of the characteristics of, both sexes: 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 being referred to, as Latin vulpēs “fox or vixen” is always grammatically feminine.
- Grammar. (of a noun or pronoun) capable of referring to either sex, as attendant, chairperson, Kim, one, or they; having common gender.
- a person or thing that is epicene.
Origin of epicene
Related Words for epicenefeminine, sissy, faint, frail, drained, effeminate, effete, emasculate, enervated, exhausted, feeble, flaccid, powerless, soft, tired, unmanly, womanish
Examples from the Web for epicene
Historical Examples of epicene
What's the meaning of this; and what, may I ask, is the intention of this—this epicene attire?Stalky & Co.
He looked away, for that epicene tenderness of hers was too harrowing.Jude the Obscure
Sentiment is the ultima ratio feminarum, and of men whose natures are of the epicene gender.Tracks of a Rolling Stone
Henry J. Coke
But a liberal-minded public grew more and more in favor of epicene colleges.
He was a great contrast to the epicene bird-like creature who had lorded it over the civic fortunes of Valladolid.The American Egypt
- having the characteristics of both sexes; hermaphroditic
- of neither sex; sexless
- 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
- an epicene person or creature
- an epicene noun
Word Origin for epicene
Word Origin and History 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.