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1. Having characteristics of both sexes.
2. Having characteristics traditionally ascribed to the other sex, especially as a male who is considered to be effeminate.
3. Having no characteristics of either sex.
4. Linguistics Having only one form for both the male and the female: an epicene pronoun.
1. One that is epicene.
2. Linguistics An epicene word.

[Middle English, having only one form of the noun for either gender, from Latin epicoenus, from Greek epikoinos, in common : epi-, epi- + koinos, common; see kom in Indo-European roots.]

ep′i·cen′ism n.


1. having the characteristics of both sexes; hermaphroditic
2. of neither sex; sexless
3. effeminate
4. (Grammar) grammar
a. denoting a noun that may refer to a male or a female, such as teacher as opposed to businessman or shepherd
b. (in Latin, Greek, etc) denoting a noun that retains the same grammatical gender regardless of the sex of the referent
5. an epicene person or creature
6. (Grammar) an epicene noun
[C15: from Latin epicoenus of both genders, from Greek epikoinos common to many, from koinos common]
ˌepiˈcenism n


(ˈɛp ɪˌsin)

1. belonging to, or partaking of the characteristics of, both sexes.
2. flaccid; feeble: epicene prose.
3. effeminate; unmasculine.
a. (of a noun or pronoun) capable of referring to either sex, as attendant, or they.
b. (of Greek and Latin nouns) of the same gender class regardless of the sex of the referent.
5. an epicene person or thing.
[1400–50; < Latin epicoenus of both genders < Greek epíkoinos common to many =epi- epi- + koinós common]
ep′i•cen`ism, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.epicene - one having both male and female sexual characteristics and organsepicene - one having both male and female sexual characteristics and organs; at birth an unambiguous assignment of male or female cannot be made
bisexual, bisexual person - a person who is sexually attracted to both sexes
Adj.1.epicene - having an ambiguous sexual identity
androgynous - having both male and female characteristics
2.epicene - having unsuitable feminine qualities
unmanful, unmanlike, unmanly - not possessing qualities befitting a man


Having qualities more appropriate to women than to men:
beiderlei Geschlechts


[ˈepɪsiːn] ADJepiceno
References in classic literature ?
However persistently the epicene theorists of modern times may deny it, it is nevertheless a truth plainly visible in the whole past history of the sexes that the natural condition of a woman is to find her master in a man.
23) Kevin Donovan, 'The Maid's Tragedy, Epicene and As You Like It, presented by the American Shakespeare Center', Early Modern Literary Studies 17 (2014), 3, https: //extra.
If we didn't make such a fuss about the epicene, the masculine pronoun would just blend in and disappear: the invisible he.
If Sabbath's attraction to these women suggests a predilection for epicene women that might in turn hint at a repressed homosexuality, then the love of his life, Drenka, would seem to confound such a theory: she is, after all, a short, plump woman, with large breasts.
However, when the words are used on the humanspecific level, and--even more intriguingly--irrespective of the gender factor (feminine, masculine, neuter), they are automatically pejoratively loaded, no matter if applied to male, female or epicene terms (e.
Looking back I can see that there was a rich seam amongst the 'e's with effrontery, effete, epicene, effulgence and (quite nearby) grummet all featuring in one section.
3) << Camp is the epicene style >>, Susan Sontag, << Notes on "Camp" >> (1964), in Against Interpretation and Other Essays, New York, Picador, 1966, p.
Lewis is again Malvolio, but a strutting, epicene version, rather than the earnest, humorless striver he gave us before.
It is impossible to read Webb and conclude that he has anything but loathing for the Fortunate Sons--the Jeb Bushes and Mitt Romneys--and the epicene polemicists who do their masters' bidding.
For example, in a discussion of Ben Jonson's Epicene, Wooding observes that it incorporates discourse on 'ladies' minute attention to their dress and their talkative and overbearing natures, all perennial matter for comedy until political correctness served to unsex humour' (178).
While contemporaries did find the king's appearance youthful, Moore's virtually unlined face and almost epicene appearance exaggerate that vision: He really is a boy in love.
As if in perverse celebration of Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin's near decade and a half of collaboration, three monstrously contorted epicene odalisque sculptures, painted in opalescent jewel tones, occupied the reception area of their first solo exhibition at Regen Projects.