There are 2 main definitions of lesbian in English:


Syllabification: les·bi·an
Pronunciation: /ˈlezbēən


A homosexual woman.
More example sentences
  • She came out publicly as a lesbian in 2010.
  • As a lesbian I want marriage equality in my home state of California.
  • He was raised by lesbians and identifies as a cis heterosexual male.
homosexual woman, gay woman
informal butch, femme
offensive dyke, bulldyke, queer


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Of or relating to homosexual women or to homosexuality in women: a lesbian relationship
More example sentences
  • Non-traditional families are more common than you think: in my daughter's preschool class there are at least two lesbian couples.
  • The judgement came in a complex dispute over parental rights between three gay and lesbian civil partner couples.
  • She's bisexual and has had lesbian relationships.
informal butch
offensive dykey, queer


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



Pronunciation: /-ˌnizəm/
More example sentences
  • FYI we're not lesbians: two women walking together doesn't signal lesbianism.
  • Young people appear to be disclosing their gayness or lesbianism at ever-younger ages.
  • She has chosen not to be coy about her lesbianism but to be up-front and vocal about it.

Definition of lesbian in: