effeminate (noun, effeminacy): a womanish or sissyish manner and bearing in a man or boy stigmatized as an unmanly homosexual.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

Ef*fem"i*nate (?), a. [L. effeminatus, p. p. of effeminare to make a woman of; ex out + femina a woman. See Feminine, a.]


Having some characteristic of a woman, as delicacy, luxuriousness, etc.; soft or delicate to an unmanly degree; womanish; weak.

The king, by his voluptuous life and mean marriage, became effeminate, and less sensible of honor. Bacon.

An effeminate and unmanly foppery. Bp. Hurd.


Womanlike; womanly; tender; -- in a good sense.

Gentle, kind, effeminate remorse. Shak.

Effeminate and womanish are generally used in a reproachful sense; feminine and womanly, applied to women, are epithets of propriety or commendation.


© Webster 1913.

Ef*fem"i*nate (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Effeminated (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Effeminating (?).]

To make womanish; to make soft and delicate; to weaken.

It will not corrupt or effeminate children's minds. Locke.


© Webster 1913.

Ef*fem"i*nate, v. i.

To grow womanish or weak.

In a slothful peace both courage will effeminate and manners corrupt. Pope.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.