- designating a noun, as in Latin or Greek, having only one grammatical form to denote an individual of either sex
- belonging to one sex but having characteristics of the other, or of neither; specif., effeminate; unmanly
Origin of epiceneMiddle English from Classical Latin epicoenus from Classical Greek epikoinos, common from epi-, upon, to + koinos, common: see com-
an epicene person
- Having characteristics of both sexes.
- Having characteristics traditionally ascribed to the other sex, especially as a male who is considered to be effeminate.
- Having no characteristics of either sex.
- Linguistics Having only one form for both the male and the female: an epicene pronoun.
- One that is epicene.
- Linguistics An epicene word.
Origin of epiceneMiddle 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.
- lacking gender distinction, often specifically due to lack of either the masculine or the feminine
- effeminate (male with unusually strong female characteristics)
- (biology) androgynous, hermaphrodite (having both male and female characteristics)
- (biology) asexual (having neither male nor female characteristics)
- (linguistics) having only one form of the word, which serves as both masculine and feminine, even for either male or female referents
OriginSee also: épicène
From Middle English, from Latin epicoenus, from Ancient Greek ἐπίκοινος (epikoinos, “common”).