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pertaining to a woman or girl:
feminine beauty; feminine dress.
having qualities traditionally ascribed to women, as sensitivity or gentleness.
effeminate; womanish:
a man with a feminine walk.
belonging to the female sex; female:
feminine staff members.
Grammar. noting or pertaining to that one of the three genders of Latin, Greek, German, etc., or one of the two genders of French, Spanish, Hebrew, etc., having among its members most nouns referring to females, as well as other nouns, as Latin stella “star,” or German Zeit “time.”.
the feminine gender.
a noun or other element in or marking that gender.
Contemporary Examples

feminine Version of Macho Swagger “The bully I fear the most … is me.”
Five Girl-Power Books Exactly Like Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ Sean Macaulay March 28, 2013

But many among the Conservative old guard cringed at its “feminine” sounding message.
Margaret Thatcher: The Accidental Feminist Amanda Foreman April 8, 2013

She invariably adds a feminine touch, a strategy often employed by women in positions of power.
Nancy Pelosi, Fashion Icon Rebecca Dana March 23, 2010

This includes not displaying signs of any “weakness,” or even “feminine emotions,” and not making other people uncomfortable.
The Perks of Crying at Work Peggy Drexler March 20, 2013

All guys want is somebody who is soft, feminine, who feels good.
More Rich, High-Powered Women Are Turning to Matchmakers to Find Love Paula Froelich August 14, 2012

Historical Examples

There will come times when you will be grateful for these feminine headaches.
The Motor Pirate George Sidney Paternoster

Leave this lady to me; I know how to manage these feminine vixens.
Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10) Maria Edgeworth

She laughed, more because it was the feminine way than in her feeling.
Tales of the Chesapeake George Alfred Townsend

She was in as feminine a fright as though she had never braved a danger.
The Cavalier George Washington Cable

Well;—perhaps it may be that a more perfect form of feminine beauty may be ascribed to another.
Marion Fay Anthony Trollope

suitable to or characteristic of a woman: a feminine fashion
possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a woman
effeminate; womanish

denoting or belonging to a gender of nouns, occurring in many inflected languages, that includes all kinds of referents as well as some female animate referents
(as noun): German Zeit “time” and Ehe “marriage” are feminines


mid-14c., “of the female sex,” from Old French femenin (12c.) “feminine, female; with feminine qualities, effeminate,” from Latin femininus “feminine” (in the grammatical sense at first), from femina “woman, female,” literally “she who suckles,” from root of felare “to suck, suckle” (see fecund). Sense of “woman-like, proper to or characteristic of women” is recorded from mid-15c.

The interplay of meanings now represented in female, feminine, and effeminate, and the attempt to make them clear and separate, has led to many coinages: feminitude (1878); feminile “feminine” (1640s); feminility “womanliness” (1838); femality (17c., “effeminacy;” 1754 “female nature”). Also feminality (1640s, “quality or state of being female”), from rare adjective feminal (late 14c.), from Old French feminal. And femineity “quality or state of being feminine,” from Latin femineus “of a woman, pertaining to a woman.”


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