Meaning of feminine in English:

feminine

adjective

  • 1Having qualities or an appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness.

    ‘the snowdrops gave a feminine touch to the table’
    • ‘A subtle feminine touch is given by using soft shades and delicate embroidery.’
    • ‘The pink also gives it a more feminine and ladylike quality.’
    • ‘It had a feminine girlish quality in the cut, but a bold, womanly quality in color.’
    • ‘There was the glass ceiling, the unequal pay, and while feminine qualities of leadership transformed the work world, they did so often at a cost to personal life.’
    • ‘Its methods should encompass intuition, emotional engagement, and other cognitive styles associated with a feminine sensibility.’
    • ‘This, coupled with their pop music style and stereotypically feminine appearance, allowed them to be angry without being threatening.’
    • ‘Violence remains a potential threat beneath the appearance of feminine softness and the protestations of peace and benevolence.’
    • ‘In fact, some of the feminine qualities celebrated by many Victorians were increasingly cast in a negative light for both boys and girls.’
    • ‘The voice was a man, and almost familiar, but it had a quiet, feminine quality to it that Ethan hadn't ever heard in a man's voice before.’
    • ‘Both were excellent fund-raisers among the wealthy, and they kept up feminine appearances by favouring Parisian fashions.’
    • ‘In the 1960s, young womanhood was defined as essentially concerned with a feminine appearance and attracting the admiring male gaze.’
    • ‘The two paintings that Sala feels the strongest affinity for are the most recent and most overtly feminine ones.’
    • ‘The season's clothes are feminine, pretty and anything but solid black, a dominant colour of many earlier seasons.’
    womanly, womanlike, ladylike, girlish, female
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Relating to women; female.
      ‘he enjoys feminine company’
      • ‘The binary and fixed construction of masculine and feminine gender identities is strictly enforced through history, religions, and popular culture.’
      • ‘All gender traits, feminine and masculine, must be valued but not assigned.’
      • ‘That ironical note is not only daily apparent in real life; it sets the whole tone of feminine fiction.’
      • ‘There is no distinctively feminine opinion on the question.’
      • ‘Did the erstwhile queen of Persia use her literary skills to record a feminine view of history?’
      feminine, womanly, womanlike, ladylike
      View synonyms
  • 2Grammar
    Of or denoting a gender of nouns and adjectives, conventionally regarded as female.

    • ‘English is a great language - no masculine and feminine nouns, fewer tenses to our verbs and loads of nouns.’
    • ‘A college class was discussing the fact that nouns in some foreign languages are either of masculine or feminine gender.’
    • ‘Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into male and female groups and asked them to decide for themselves whether computer should be a masculine or a feminine noun.’
    • ‘If he's memorizing French vocab, ask him if he knows the difference between masculine and feminine nouns.’
    • ‘The word death in Polish is a feminine noun, and is thought of as a tall woman draped in white.’
    • ‘Do Spanish adjectives have masculine and feminine forms?’
    • ‘In Arabic grammar there are certain rules and criteria for feminine gender.’
    • ‘Now you might argue, so why do you need a feminine suffix of the numeral when you have a noun which is masculine?’
    • ‘This North Queensland language has four genders: masculine, feminine, edible and neuter.’

noun

the feminine
  • 1The female sex or gender.

    ‘the association of the arts with the feminine’
    • ‘In discussing drag, we talk about challenging the audience's conception of gender, or recovering the male performer's sense of the feminine.’
    • ‘Early in the film, Janice's transgressions already resonate on a specific historical level and tap into older notions regarding the feminine.’
    • ‘After a decade or so when lad culture reigned supreme, there's a new willingness among men to engage with the negatives in their masculinity, and to embrace the feminine.’
    • ‘Everything I've ever written could be said to be a hymn to the feminine.’
    • ‘Saying what you want and how you feel is clearly the realm of the feminine.’
    • ‘I mean we're talking about a virgin figure, an exalted virgin figure who according to Catholic doctrine remained a virgin, and so it's a particular kind of concept of the feminine.’
    • ‘As in her conception of female sexuality, doubling and multiplying are associated with the feminine.’
    • ‘On the social level, the plays perform gender-balancing acts through an elaboration of the feminine.’
    • ‘It concerns the characteristics that a society or group attributes to the masculine or the feminine.’
    • ‘It must be part of an inclusive approach to discussing a new history, which integrates the feminine with the masculine.’
    • ‘Daphne functions at once as a mother and a lover, and her actions suggest the stereotypically masculine as well as the feminine.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, the distinction between the masculine and feminine constitutes a significant aspect that informs the operation of seduction.’
    • ‘While it is true that Margaret's scientific theories support the emergence of a new image of female selfhood, I would argue that they exceed such revaluing of the feminine.’
    • ‘I was addressing the problem of celibate priests who are in danger of leading lives divorced from the feminine.’
    • ‘The role of imagery of the feminine in philosophical texts is not unrelated to the fact that the philosophical tradition was dominated by men.’
  • 2Grammar
    A feminine word or form.

    ‘Even today we refer to objects like ships in the feminine!’
    ‘After a long time, Michel fell asleep thinking about how the boat itself was named after a man, yet was always referred to in the feminine.’

Origin

Late Middle English from Latin femininus, from femina ‘woman’.

Pronunciation

feminine

/ˈfɛmɪnɪn/