• (RP) IPA: /ˈɛpɪsiːn/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈɛ.pəˌsin/

epicene (not comparable)

  1. (linguistics) Of or relating to a class#Noun|class of Greek and Latin nouns that may refer to male#Noun|males or female#Noun|females but have a fixed#Adjective|fixed grammatical gender (feminine, masculine, neuter#Adjective|neuter, etc.).
  2. (linguistics) Of or relating to nouns or pronouns in any language that have a single#Adjective|single form#Noun|form for male#Adjective|male and female#Adjective|female referents.
    Synonyms: common
  3. (by extension) Suitable for use#Noun|use regardless of sex#Noun|sex; unisex.
  4. (biology and figuratively) Of indeterminate sex#Noun|sex, whether asexual, androgynous, hermaphrodite#Adjective|hermaphrodite, or intersex; of a human face, intermediate in form between a man's face and a woman's face.
    Synonyms: gynandromorphic, gynandrous
    • 1934 October, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 22 ↗, in Burmese Days (Project Gutenberg Australia; ebook no. 0200051h.html), New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, published November 2015, OCLC 1810828 ↗:
      Five High School boys came down the road abreast. Ellis saw them coming, a row of yellow, malicious faces—epicene faces, horribly smooth and young, grinning at him with deliberate insolence.
  5. (by extension) Indeterminate; mixed#Adjective|mixed.
  6. (by extension, usually, pejorative) Of a man: effeminate.
Translations Translations Noun

epicene (plural epicenes)

  1. (linguistics) An epicene word#Noun|word; preceded by the: the epicene words of a language as a class#Noun|class.
  2. (biology and figuratively) An epicene person, whether biologically asexual, androgynous, hermaphrodite#Adjective|hermaphrodite, or intersex; an androgyne, a hermaphrodite#Noun|hermaphrodite. [from 17th c.]
    • 1620, Benjamin Jonson [i.e., Ben Jonson], “Newes from the New VVorld Discover’d in the Moon. […]”, in The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The Second Volume. […] (Second Folio), London: Printed for Richard Meighen, published 1640–1641, OCLC 51546498 ↗, page 44 ↗:
      Onely one Iſland they have, is call'd the Iſle of the Epecœnes, becauſe there under one Article both kindes are ſignified, for they are faſhioned alike, male and female the ſame, [...] you doe not know the delight of the Epicœnes in Moon-ſhine.
  3. (by extension) A transsexual#Noun|transsexual; also, a transvestite#Noun|transvestite.
    • [1616, Benjamin Jonson [i.e., Ben Jonson], “Epicoene”, in The Workes of Ben Jonson (First Folio), London: By Will[iam] Stansby, OCLC 960101342 ↗, page 525 ↗:
      Epicoene, or The ſilent VVoman. A comœdie. [title page]
  4. (by extension, usually, pejorative) An effeminate man#Noun|man.
  • German: Epicönum, Epikoinon (substantives)
  • Spanish: epiceno

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