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lesbian

[ lez-bee-uhn ]
/ ˈlɛz bi ən /
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noun
  1. a woman who is sexually or romantically attracted to other women; a gay woman.
  2. a woman who is sexually or romantically attracted exclusively to other women; a gay woman.
Lesbian, an inhabitant of the island of Lesbos.
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or being a woman who is sexually or romantically attracted to people of her own sex or gender.
  2. of, relating to, or being a woman who is sexually or romantically attracted exclusively to people of her own sex or gender.
Sometimes Lesbian . erotic; sensual
Lesbian, of or relating to Lesbos.
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Origin of lesbian

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin Lesbi(us) “Lesbian” (from Greek Lésbios, equivalent to Lésb(os) “Lesbos” (see Lesbos) + -ios adjective suffix) + -an; defs. 1, 3 allude to the poet Sappho of Lesbos, whose verse deals largely with her emotional relationships with other women

usage note for lesbian

What's the difference between lesbian and Sapphic? See gay.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lesbian in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for lesbian (1 of 2)

lesbian
/ (ˈlɛzbɪən) /

noun
a female homosexual
adjective
of or characteristic of lesbians

Derived forms of lesbian

lesbianism, noun

Word Origin for lesbian

C19: from the homosexuality attributed to Sappho

British Dictionary definitions for lesbian (2 of 2)

Lesbian
/ (ˈlɛzbɪən) /

noun
a native or inhabitant of Lesbos
the Aeolic dialect of Ancient Greek spoken in Lesbos
adjective
of or relating to Lesbos
of or relating to the poetry of Lesbos, esp that of Sappho
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

Cultural definitions for lesbian

lesbian

A homosexual woman. (See also gay.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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