epicene

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj epicene having unsuitable feminine qualities
    • adj epicene having an ambiguous sexual identity
    • n epicene one having both male and female sexual characteristics and organs; at birth an unambiguous assignment of male or female cannot be made
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Epicene Common to both sexes; -- a term applied, in grammar, to such nouns as have but one form of gender, either the masculine or feminine, to indicate animals of both sexes; as boy^s bos, for the ox and cow; sometimes applied to eunuchs and hermaphrodites.
    • Epicene Fig.: Sexless; neither one thing nor the other. "The literary prigs epicene .""He represented an epicene species, neither churchman nor layman."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • epicene Belonging to or including both sexes: especially, in grammar, applied to nouns having only one form of gender to indicate animals of both sexes: thus, the Greek ο%35ϊς and Latin ovis, a sheep, are feminine words, whether applied to males or to females.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj., n Epicene ep′i-sēn common to both sexes:
    • adj., n Epicene ep′i-sēn (gram.) of either gender.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. epicoenus, Gr. ; fr. 'epi` + common; cf. F. épicène,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Through L.,—Gr. epikoinosepi, upon, koinos, common.

Usage

In literature:

He called them neuters, epicenes, bloodless, sexless creatures.
"Herland" by Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman
Lentulus is slender, fair-haired, epicene.
"Androcles and the Lion" by George Bernard Shaw
But this epicene state of enjoyment was not long to last.
"Rattlin the Reefer" by Edward Howard
At what figured symbol points that epicene child?
"Visions and Revisions" by John Cowper Powys
Death makes all genders epicene.
"Modern Women and What is Said of Them" by Anonymous
Agdistis, an epicene deity, 65.
"The Religious Sentiment" by Daniel G. Brinton
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In poetry:

What sterile growths of sexless root
Or epicene?
What flower of kisses without fruit
Of love, Faustine?
"Faustine" by Algernon Charles Swinburne
No longer doth man's will decide,
And woman's feebler impulse guide;
He yields to her his might:
Duty hath grown an old—world tale,
And chaste Obedience rends her veil,
For epicene delight.
"At Shelley’s House At Lerici" by Alfred Austin