Share this entry

Share this page

feminine

Syllabification: fem·i·nine
Pronunciation: /ˈfemənən
 
/

Definition of feminine in English:

adjective

1Having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness: a feminine frilled blouse
More example sentences
  • A subtle feminine touch is given by using soft shades and delicate embroidery.
  • The pink also gives it a more feminine and ladylike quality.
  • It had a feminine girlish quality in the cut, but a bold, womanly quality in color.
Synonyms
womanly, ladylike;
girlish;
soft, delicate, gentle, graceful
informal girly
1.1Of or relating to women; female: he enjoys feminine company
More example sentences
  • Removing the board gently, he reached down into the hollow and retrieved a bundle of papers covered edge-to-edge in a pretty, feminine hand.
  • They were pretty eyes, almost feminine, he decided, and it was probably that.
  • The feminine side of me wants humanistic evaluations of interesting female people in the news, written by well-bred, well educated women.
2 Grammar Of or denoting a gender of nouns and adjectives, conventionally regarded as female.
Example sentences
  • To be sure, it may be the case, in a gender language, that male and female persons will be designated by nouns of masculine and feminine gender, respectively.
  • English is a great language - no masculine and feminine nouns, fewer tenses to our verbs and loads of nouns.
  • A college class was discussing the fact that nouns in some foreign languages are either of masculine or feminine gender.
3 Music (Of a cadence) occurring on a metrically weak beat.
Example sentences
  • If, on the other hand, we accept the idea of an 'extra-light' feminine cadence, we obtain a pleasing rounded construction.
  • The only full cadence - a languid feminine cadence drawn out over a full measure - comes at the close of the B section.

noun

(the feminine) Back to top  
1The female sex or gender: the association of the arts with the feminine
More example sentences
  • The Catholic understanding of the feminine would be lost forever if the Church had a female priesthood.
  • In discussing drag, we talk about challenging the audience's conception of gender, or recovering the male performer's sense of the feminine.
  • Early in the film, Janice's transgressions already resonate on a specific historical level and tap into older notions regarding the feminine.
1.1 Grammar A feminine word or form.
Example sentences
  • A noun that is classified as feminine in one language might be masculine in another.
  • Even today we refer to objects like ships in the feminine!
  • After a long time, Michel fell asleep thinking about how the boat itself was named after a man, yet was always referred to in the feminine.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin femininus, from femina 'woman'.

Derivatives

femininely

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • It's not just women who would make great leaders (sensually, femininely, in the light of science), but also gay people.
  • A person who puts on a skirt or makeup sends an obvious signal that he or she is dressed femininely, but a person in pants and no makeup could be dressed as any gender.
  • ‘At least one person thinks I look all right in this,’ she laughed, examining the femininely cut tuxedo she wore.

feminineness

2
noun

Words that rhyme with feminine

underlinen

Definition of feminine in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing