Meaning of femme in English:

femme

(also fem)

Pronunciation /fɛm/

noun

  • 1A lesbian whose appearance and behaviour are seen as traditionally feminine.

    Compare with butch

    ‘Lesbian femmes may recall the heterosexual scene, as it were, but also displace it at the same time.’
    • ‘My friends are largely femmes who date only butches - so many of us have dated or at least slept with the same ones.’
    • ‘By the late 1920s and early 1930s, butch numbers like Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo were planting passionate kisses on the lips of lovely femmes in their films while having lesbian love affairs in real life.’
    • ‘You see butches with butches but you never see butches with femmes anymore.’
    • ‘But I just can't see how any of that has anything to do with being a butch or a femme.’
  • 2informal, dated A woman.

    • ‘Gwen is one seriously fierce femme as she shows off her strength’
    • ‘Lesbian femmes may recall the heterosexual scene, as it were, but also displace it at the same time.’
    • ‘My friends are largely femmes who date only butches - so many of us have dated or at least slept with the same ones.’
    • ‘By the late 1920s and early 1930s, butch numbers like Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo were planting passionate kisses on the lips of lovely femmes in their films while having lesbian love affairs in real life.’
    • ‘You see butches with butches but you never see butches with femmes anymore.’
    • ‘But I just can't see how any of that has anything to do with being a butch or a femme.’

adjective

  • 1Female; feminine.

    • ‘a post-feminist metaphor for femme empowerment’
    1. 1.1(of a lesbian) having an appearance or other qualities of a type traditionally seen as feminine.

Origin

Early 19th century French, ‘woman’.