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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 periodicals archive ?
But then Georgo would grin epicenely and say, Why don't you come to Dome?