There are 2 main definitions of lesbian in English:

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lesbian1

Syllabification: les·bi·an
Pronunciation: /ˈlezbēən
 
/

noun

A homosexual woman.
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.
Synonyms
homosexual woman, gay woman
informal butch, femme
offensive dyke, bulldyke, queer

adjective

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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.
Synonyms
informal butch
offensive dykey, queer

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.

Derivatives

lesbianism

1
Pronunciation: /-ˌnizəm/
noun
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:

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There are 2 main definitions of lesbian in English:

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Lesbian2

Syllabification: Les·bi·an
Pronunciation: /ˈlezbēən
 
/

adjective

From or relating to the island of Lesbos.

Definition of lesbian in:

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