Dictionary > Effeminate


1. Having some characteristic of a woman, as delicacy, luxuriousness, etc.; soft or delicate to an unmanly degree; womanish; weak. The king, by his voluptuous life and mean marriage, became effeminate, and less sensible of honor. (Bacon) An effeminate and unmanly foppery. (bp. Hurd)
2. Womanlike; womanly; tender; in a good sense. Gentle, kind, effeminate remorse. (Shak)
effeminate and womanish are generally used in a reproachful sense; feminine and womanly, applied to women, are epithets of propriety or commendation.
Origin: L. Effeminatus, p. P. Of effeminare to make a woman of; ex out – femina a woman. See feminine.
to make womanish; to make soft and delicate; to weaken. It will not corrupt or effeminate children’s minds. (Locke)
Origin: Effeminated; Effeminating.
to grow womanish or weak. In a slothful peace both courage will effeminate and manners corrupt. (Pope)