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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Having qualities more appropriate to women than to men:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
beiderlei Geschlechts


[ˈepɪsiːn] ADJepiceno
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
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.
But in so doing, he also elevated himself to something approaching their level: a celebrity artist, a bewigged epicene whose mere signature elevated a mass-produced screenprint of somebody else's imagery into high art.
Using de Certeau's concept of 'tactics', or acts of resistance, chapter three considers how characters in Middleton and Dekker's The Roaring Girl and Jonson's Epicene assert freedom from and within urban spaces.
NB: I use the singular epicene pronoun "they" and its derivatives throughout.
A storied, idealizing dialectic of "fair and dark ladies" in the national literature, laid out by critic Leslie Fielder in Love & Death in the American Novel (1960), was weirdly synthesized in this white-skinned, blackhaired, all but blackhearted girl with epicene habits.
If we didn't make such a fuss about the epicene, the masculine pronoun would just blend in and disappear: the invisible he.
Faustine is portrayed as "epicene" (Swinburne 130):
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.g.
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.