Having or showing qualities or characteristics more often associated with females than males; unmanly: "gentle, kind, effeminate remorse" (Shakespeare).
[Middle English effeminat, from Latin effēminātus, past participle of effēmināre, to make feminine : ex-, ex- + fēmina, woman; see dhē(i)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
ef·femi·na·cy (-nə-sē), ef·femi·nate·ness n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.