AskDefine | Define feminine

Dictionary Definition

feminine adj
1 associated with women and not with men; "feminine intuition" [ant: masculine]
2 of grammatical gender [ant: neuter, masculine]
3 befitting or characteristic of a woman especially a mature woman; "womanly virtues of gentleness and compassion" [syn: womanly] [ant: unwomanly]
4 (music or poetry) ending on an unaccented beat or syllable; "a feminine ending" n : a gender that refers chiefly (but not exclusively) to females or to objects classified as female

User Contributed Dictionary



From feminin, from femininus, from femina woman; probably akin to Latin fetus, or to Greek to suck, to suckle, Sanskrit dhā to suck; compare Anglo-Saxon woman, maid: compare French féminin. See fetus.


  • /ˈfɛmɪnɪn/ or /ˈfɛmənɪn/


  1. Having the qualities associated with a woman or the female gender; suitable to, or characteristic of, a woman; nurturing; not masculine or aggressive.
    Her heavenly form Angelic, but more soft and feminine — Milton
    Her letters are remarkably deficient in feminine ease and grace — Macaulay
    Ninus being esteemed no man of war at all, but altogether feminine, and subject to ease and delicacy — Sir Walter Raleigh
  2. Of the female sex; biologically female, not male, womanly.
  3. Belonging to females; appropriated to, or used by, females.
    Mary, Elizabeth, and Edith are feminine names.
  4. Grammatical gender distinction in languages that have it such as Spanish and Hindi that describes nouns including those pertaining to females and objects that are assigned the feminine gender.


Derived terms


having the qualities associated with a woman
of the female sex
  • Danish: kvindelig
  • Finnish: naispuolinen, naaras-, naaraspuolinen
  • French: féminin
  • German: feminin, weiblich
  • Greek: θηλυκός (thilykós)
  • Italian: femminile
  • Japanese: 女らしい, 女性らしい, 女の
  • Korean:
  • Marathi: स्त्रैण (straiN)
  • Spanish: femenino , femenina
  • West Frisian: froulik
belonging to females
  • Danish: kvinde-, feminin
  • Finnish: nainen
  • French: féminin
  • German: feminin, weiblich
  • Greek: γυναικείος (gynaikeíos)
  • Italian: femminile
  • Japanese: 女性の
  • Korean:
  • Spanish: femenil, de mujeres
  • West Frisian: froulik
grammatical gender distinction


  1. Of or pertaining to woman.
  2. Having the qualities of a woman.


  1. (Obsolete or Colloquial): A woman.
    They guide the feminines toward the palace — Hakluyt
  2. Any one of those words which are the appellations of females, or which have the terminations usually found in such words; as, actress, songstress, abbess, executrix.
    There are but few true feminines in English — Latham


  • German: Frau, Weib
  • Finnish: feminiini
  • West Frisian: froulik




Extensive Definition

Feminine normally refers to qualities positively associated with women or girls (see Femininity). A near synonym is womanly; antonyms include unfeminine, unwomanly, manish and epicene.
It can also refer to:
  • Feminine grammatical gender, a class of words and forms normally including reference to women
  • Feminine rhyme, where two or more syllables match, sometimes with unstressed final syllable
  • Feminine cadence, a final chord falling in a metrically weak position

See also

feminine in French: Féminin
feminine in Portuguese: Feminino

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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