Definition of Epicene

1. Noun. One having both male and female sexual characteristics and organs; at birth an unambiguous assignment of male or female cannot be made.

2. Adjective. Having an ambiguous sexual identity.
Exact synonyms: Bisexual
Similar to: Androgynous
Derivative terms: Bisexuality

3. Adjective. Having unsuitable feminine qualities.

Definition of Epicene

1. a. & n. Common to both sexes; -- a term applied, in grammar, to such nouns as have but one form of gender, either the masculine or feminine, to indicate animals of both sexes; as boy^s, bos, for the ox and cow; sometimes applied to eunuchs and hermaphrodites.

Definition of Epicene

1. Adjective. lacking gender distinction, often specifically due to lack of either the masculine or the feminine ¹

2. Adjective. effeminate (gloss male with unusually strong female characteristics) ¹

3. Adjective. (biology) androgynous, hermaphrodite (gloss having both male and female characteristics) ¹

4. Adjective. (biology) asexual (gloss having neither male nor female characteristics) ¹

5. Adjective. (linguistics) having only one form of the word, which serves as both masculine and feminine, even for either male or female referents ¹

6. Noun. A hermaphrodite person or other creature ¹

7. Noun. An effeminate person ¹

8. Noun. An epicene word, without separate grammatical gender forms. ¹

9. Noun. An epicene object ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Epicene

1. one having both male and female characteristics [n -S]

Epicene Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Epicene

epicardial fat sign
epicene pronoun
epicene pronouns

Literary usage of Epicene

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Or South-Indian Family of Languages by Robert Caldwell (1875)
"Two forms of the epicene plural being thus placed at the disposal of the Tamil people (the classical nir and avar, and the colloquial nth-gal and avar-gal), ..."

2. A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Or South-Indian Family of Languages by Robert Caldwell (1875)
"It is true that ni, thou, forms its plural in modern Tamil by simply adding r; but this does not prove that r alone was the primitive form of the epicene ..."

3. Diary and Correspondence of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys, Richard Griffin Braybrooke, John Smith (1867)
"By water with my Lord in a boat to Westminster, and to the Admiralty, now in a new place, and to the Treasurer of the Navy. 1 epicene, or the Silent Woman, ..."

4. Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: And the Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Henry Morley (1884)
"... which is a man's name, with a feminine termination, to denote the mysterious epicene relation in which poor Miss Johnston stood to him ..."

5. Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher: Notes and Lectures by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1874)
"... "epicene." is to my feelings the most entertaining of _L old Ben's comedies, and, more than any other, would admit of being brought out anew, ..."

6. A Latin grammar for schools and colleges by Joseph Henry Allen, James Bradstreet Greenough (1874)
"A few names of animals arc always connected with adjectives of the same gender, either masculine or feminine, independent of sex. They are called epicene. ..."

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