1. Of or pertaining to a woman, or to women; characteristic of a woman; womanish; womanly. "Her letters are remarkably deficient in feminine ease and grace." (Macaulay)

2. Having the qualities of a woman; becoming or appropriate to the female sex; as, in a good sense, modest, graceful, affectionate, confiding; or, in a bad sense, weak, nerveless, timid, pleasure-loving, effeminate. "Her heavenly form Angelic, but more soft and feminine." (Milton) "Ninus being esteemed no man of war at all, but altogether feminine, and subject to ease and delicacy." (Sir W. Raleigh)

Origin: L. Femininus, fr. Femina woman; prob. Akin to L. Fetus, or to Gr. To suck, to suckle, Skr. Dha to suck; cf. AS. Famme woman, maid: cf. F. Feminin. See Foetus.

1. A woman. "They guide the feminines toward the palace." (Hakluyt)

2. Any one of those words which are the appellations of females, or which have the terminations usually found in such words; as, actress, songstress, abbess, executrix. "There are but few true feminines in English." (Latham)

(01 Mar 1998)

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