There are 2 main definitions of lesbian in English:

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lesbian 1

Pronunciation: /ˈlɛzbɪən/

noun

A homosexual woman.
Example sentences
  • In a few decades people will look at the bigotry against gays and lesbians as medieval.
  • It's encouraging that the right is less hostile to gays and lesbians than it used to be.
  • He urged gay men and lesbians to make their voices heard.
Synonyms
homosexual woman, gay woman
rare tribade, invert
informal les, lesbo, lezzy, butch, femme, dyke, bulldyke
informal, derogatory rug muncher, carpet muncher
West Indian  zami

adjective

Relating to homosexual women or to homosexuality in women: a lesbian relationship
More example sentences
  • It shocks me that gay and lesbian relationships can still be such a divisive issue for so many people.
  • The civil unions law in Vermont has proved to be good news for gay and lesbian couples.
  • Not all online travel companies embrace gay and lesbian travelers.
Synonyms
homosexual, gay, lesbigay, GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered)
rare tribadic
informal les, lesbo, butch, lezzy, dykey
informal, derogatory queer, bent

Origin

Late 19th century: via Latin from Greek Lesbios, from Lesbos, home of Sappho, who expressed affection for women in her poetry, + -ian.

More
  • Sappho was a Greek lyric poet of the early 7th century bc who lived on the Greek island of Lesbos (often now found in the Greek spelling Lesvos). Despite the fact that we know very little of her life, and that there is an unsupported tradition that she killed herself for love of a young man, the fragments of her poems also express her affection and admiration for women, and so people came to associate her with female homosexuality. In the late 19th century she inspired two descriptive terms, lesbian, from her island home of Lesbos, and sapphic.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: les|bian

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There are 2 main definitions of lesbian in English:

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Lesbian 2

Pronunciation: /ˈlɛzbɪən/

adjective

From or relating to the island of Lesbos.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Les|bian

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