Definition of epicene in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈepəˌsēn/


1Having characteristics of both sexes or no characteristics of either sex; of indeterminate sex: the sort of epicene beauty peculiar to boys of a certain age
More example sentences
  • He had an epicene beauty and his iconic character was the ‘thing in itself,’ comedy and pathos in the same figure.
  • He was also a eunuch of such beauty that the sultan fell for his epicene handsomeness and appointed him his senior commander.
  • For someone who has spent much of his life perfecting an image of epicene other-worldliness, he now bears startlingly normal hallmarks of a bloke you'd enjoy talking to down the pub.
1.1Effeminate; effete: the actor infused the role with an epicene languor
More example sentences
  • In this movie though, it's formed out of an epicene husband and a working-class orphan who have cemented their bonds in her absence, in a tent on an overnighter in the dark forest, to the tune of hooting owls.
  • Among my favorites are the triumphant warrior Fortinbras represented by a pair of barefoot drips in angel costume, he blond and epicene, she a redheaded virago.
  • Their gestures, facial expressions, and vocal intonations render them stereotypically gay or epicene.


An epicene person.


Late Middle English (as a grammatical term): via late Latin from Greek epikoinos (based on koinos 'common').

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ep·i·cene

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